Kids may learn about the dangers of smoking in their school's health class. But a child's household environment may be more important.
Here's Shelby Lin with today's Health Minute.
Children are more likely to smoke if their parent or older sibling smokes, according to a study published in the recent issue of Pediatrics. And parents who quit smoking aren't necessarily off the hook.
The study analyzed more than 200 parents and 300 children. The youngsters were all 11 years and older.
Researchers found adolescents had a greater risk of smoking even when their parents were characterized as "light" smokers or quit smoking later in life. And children were still at a higher risk to become smokers if their parents smoked and quit before their kids were even born. And if an older sibling smoked, the younger brother or sister was six times more likely to smoke compared to those with a non-smoking sibling.
Study authors say, no matter whether a parent smokes or not, they should immediately intervene if their child begins to smoke, because the consequences may not only affect their health, but their siblings as well.
For today's Health Minute, I'm Shelby Lin.