Many Parents Who Smoke Don't Have 'Smoke Free Rules' in the Home, Says Research

By Staff Reporter, Parent Herald June 19, 07:24 am

The adverse effects of smoking to one’s health are obvious, however, despite the campaign against smoking there are still those who smoke and some of them are parents. A recent study revealed that almost 40 percent of the U.S. households with smoker parents do not recognize the need for a smoke-free rule at home for their children.

The smoke-free rule is designed to protect children from secondhand smoke. This aims to build a healthy environment for children by keeping them away from smoking family members. The individuals who smoke will have to do the smoking outside the house. In this way, when children are in the house they cannot inhale the smoke.

Patricia Folan, director of the Center for Tobacco Control at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Great Neck, N.Y., encouraged this, most especially that children have no control with their environment, so the parents should take responsibility on their smoking habits.

According to ABC News, a new study has learned that exercising a smoke-free home will not only protect the children from secondhand smoke but may yield a more positive result. Researchers said, it reduces the chances of children to smoke later on.

The new study, headed by Ana Martinez-Donate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison makes use of the data gathered from a 2010-2011 federal government survey.

Among the discovery of the study includes the following:

  • 60 percent of households with children and with at least one smoker parent exercise a voluntary smoke-free rule at home
  • Households raised by two parents are more likely to practice the smoke-free rule than single-parent households
  • College educated parents earning at least $50,000  are more likely to adopt the rule
  • Parents have a concensus that no one should smoke in the car when the kids are around, 72 percent of parents that do not practice smoke-free rule at home are among of those who agreed
  • Only 61 percent of the parents who do not practice smoke-free rule agreed to a smoke-free outdoor for children’s play areas

The struggle for a smoke-free home is difficult, but in a separate study in England, the said country was successful.

Science 20 reports that there is an increase of 24.3 percent in the proportion of children living in a smoke-free home. There is said to be an emerging norm in England that encourages its constituents to adopt a smoke-free home regardless if the parents are smokers or not. They wanted to see two-thirds of the household with smoking parents go smoke-free by 2020.

Indeed, parents have an important part in the smoke-free rule and even Dr. Howard Selinger, chair of family medicine at Quinnipiac University School of Medicine in Hamden, Conn. recognized this.

He said, “Although it may sound encouraging that most adults support smoke-free homes, that does not address the role-modeling of the message conveyed by the parents who continue to smoke -- be it inside the home or out.”

He added that what matters is the children’s future, whether they turn to be a smoker or not.

The findings of the study were published in the journal “Preventing Chronic Disasee" on Thursday.


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