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Teens From Smoke-Free Homes Carry on Tradition

Youths prefer living quarters without puffers once they move on, study finds

FRIDAY, Feb. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who live in homes with smoking bans are apt to choose a similar living arrangement when they move into their own place, a new study has found.

Researchers from the Boston University School of Public Health tracked 693 adolescents, 12 to 17 years old at the start of the study. Eventually, all the youths moved out of their parents' houses and lived independently, some at colleges or universities and others in apartments or other types of residences.

Overall, about 82 percent of the youths moved to smoke-free living quarters, and 18 percent moved to housing that permitted smoking. They also found that 89 percent of those who moved to smoke-free housing had grown up in a smoke-free home. Of those who moved to someplace that permitted smoking, 36 percent had grown up in a smoke-free house.

"A household smoking ban in the parental home appears to lead youths to prefer smoke-free living quarters once they leave home," said Alison Albers, assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences and the study's lead author.

"This basic intervention -- implementing a household smoking ban -- not only has the potential to promote anti-smoking norms and to prevent adolescent smoking, but also may have the additional benefit of transmitting anti-smoking norms from parents to children as they transition out of the household," Albers said. "The fact that we found this effect even among smokers is very promising."

The study was published in the journal Tobacco Control.

More information

The Nemours Foundation has more about children and smoking.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Boston University School of Public Health, news release, February 2009

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