Jackson C, Dickinson D. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006;160:56–62
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY. To evaluate effects of a home-based antismoking socialization program on the initiation of smoking among children whose parents smoke.
STUDY POPULATION. Parents who were current smokers and had a third-grader who had not tried smoking were eligible. The study included 776 children who completed an interview 3 years after initial randomization of 873 parent-child pairs; 371 were in the intervention group, and 405 were in the control group.
METHODS. This was a 3-year randomized, controlled trial. During 3 months, the intervention group received 5 printed activity guides, parenting tip sheets, child newsletters, and incentives. One year later, this group also received a booster activity guide. The control group only received fact sheets about smoking.
RESULTS. Initiation of smoking was reported by 19% of children in the control group versus 12% of those in the intervention group (adjusted odds ratio: 2.16; P < .001).
CONCLUSIONS. Children in the preinitiation phase of smoking who receive antismoking socialization from their parents are less likely to initiate smoking, even if their parents smoke. The authors defined antismoking socialization as internalization of attitudinal and behavioral norms against initiation of smoking, acceptance of parental monitoring of access to cigarettes and affiliation with peers who have tried smoking, expectations of negative consequences for trying smoking, and expectations of positive consequences for not smoking, which is much more than simply telling children that they should not smoke.
REVIEWER COMMENTS. This study is remarkable in that it demonstrated that, contrary to the “common-sense” view that parents who smoke can do little to discourage smoking by their children, active antismoking socialization, even by parents who smoke, can significantly reduce rates of smoking by their children.
- Copyright © 2007 by the American Academy of Pediatrics