Study: Parents influence teens' smoking habits

August 26, 2009 1:42:49 PM PDT
When it comes to smoking, parents may have more influence than they might think. A study in the journal Pediatrics followed teenagers who had become occasional smokers before high school and found that 58 percent made it a daily habit by 12th grade. But the likelihood of that happening depended partly on friends and parents.

When friends or parents smoked, teens were more likely to become daily smokers. On the other hand, they were less likely to become habitual smokers when their parents had a positive family management style. That included monitoring their comings and goings, doling out reasonable punishments for rule breaks and rewarding good behavior.