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10 Reasons People Start Smoking


7
Parental Influence
Research shows that it's a fact: Children of smokers are much more likely to take up smoking themselves.
Research shows that it's a fact: Children of smokers are much more likely to take up smoking themselves.
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The relationship between parents smoking and their children smoking is blunt: Children of active smokers are more likely to start smoking than children of nonsmokers, or children of parents who quit smoking. According to some studies, a parent's choice to smoke can more than double the odds that the child will smoke [source: Faucher].

Even nonsmoking parents can act in ways that inadvertently make it easier for their children to start smoking. Studies have found that parents who place few restrictions on movies, allowing their children to watch films that depict heavy smoking and drinking, may be setting their children up to be smokers. Likewise, parents who react to smoking as a socially acceptable behavior -- even if they don't smoke -- can leave the door open for their children to experiment with tobacco [source: Hood Center for Children and Families].

What studies of parental influence on smoking suggest is that simply not smoking or quitting may not be enough. Parents committed to raising smoke-free children have to communicate that smoking is dangerous, unhealthy and unacceptable. Even as the children grow into teenagers, those parental messages will resonate, potentially protecting the young adults from becoming addicts as they grow older.


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