The smoking facts about the effects of cigarettes and the smoking behaviour of parents is clear. Secondhand smoking in children is a significant cause of morbidity. Children who live in a family where smoking is normalized are more likely to grow up to be smokers.
Harmful Effects of Cigarettes on Child Health - Smoking Facts
The effects of environmental tobacco smoke are now well established. Children have small and sensitive airways making them particularly sensitive to the effects of secondhand smoke.
Children exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to miss school for respiratory illness. They have more upper respiratory infections and if they have asthma then parental smoking in the home makes it worse causing more hospitalizations and acute exacerbations than children who do not live with smokers.
The effects of cigarettes and the smoking behaviour of parents goes beyond the obvious harmful effects of cigarettes such as the increase in respiratory diseases. Parental smoking behaviour has been shown to significantly affect the decision to experiment with cigarettes.
This decision is usually made as a teenager. Children who live in a home with smoking parents are more likely to become smokers themselves, so the effects of your cigarettes and your smoking behaviour could result in a nicotine addiction for your children.
Family Smoking Facts
The government of Canada regularly engages in a Youth Smoking Survey to better understand the determinants of smoking and why children make the decision to experiment with cigarettes. It turns out that children are more influenced by the social and emotional aspects of smoking than any physical effects of nicotine.
Here is what is known about the family effects of cigarettes and smoking behaviour of parents:
1. Children are more likely to become smokers if smoking is viewed as normal within the family.
2. Parents who disapprove of smoking and make it known are less likely to have children who take up smoking.
3. The more people in the home who smoke the more likely a child is to experiment with smoking.
4. Families who view the effects of cigarettes as social or meeting emotional needs are more likely to raise future smokers. If the child sees cigarettes being used for socializing and meeting needs for love and belonging then the child is more likely to ignore the smoking facts about the harmful effects of cigarettes and go on to experiment with smoking as a way to feel connected to others - usually other smokers.
It is clear that parental action and attitude has a significant effect on children and the decisions that a child will make about experimenting with cigarettes.
You are a role model to your children. What will the future effects of cigarettes and smoking behaviour in your family be?

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Explore more smoking facts at where Beverly OMalley explores the facts on smoking and your health, including signs of drug addiction, cosmetic cigarette smoking effects, and the family smoking facts.