Parents who quit smoking and their adult children's smoking cessation: a 20-year follow-up study
Article first published online: 9 APR 2009
© 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2009 Society for the Study of Addiction
Volume 104, Issue 6, pages 1036–1042, June 2009
How to Cite
Bricker, J. B., Otten, R., Liu, J. L. and Peterson, Jr, A. V. (2009), Parents who quit smoking and their adult children's smoking cessation: a 20-year follow-up study. Addiction, 104: 1036–1042. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2009.02547.x
- Issue published online: 6 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 9 APR 2009
- Submitted 7 October 2008; initial review completed 9 December 2008; final version accepted 23 January 2009
- Adolescent smoking;
- emerging adulthood;
- longitudinal cohort;
- parent smoking cessation;
- young adult smoking cessation
Aims Extending our earlier findings from a longitudinal cohort study, this study examines parents' early and late smoking cessation as predictors of their young adult children's smoking cessation.
Design Parents' early smoking cessation status was assessed when their children were aged 8 years; parents' late smoking cessation was assessed when their children were aged 17 years. Young adult children's smoking cessation, of at least 6 months duration, was assessed at age 28 years.
Setting Forty Washington State school districts.
Participants and measurements Participants were 991 at least weekly smokers at age 17 whose parents were ever regular smokers and who also reported their smoking status at age 28. Questionnaire data were gathered on parents and their children (49% female and 91% Caucasian) in a longitudinal cohort (84% retention).
Findings Among children who smoked daily at age 17, parents' quitting early (i.e. by the time their children were aged 8) was associated with a 1.7 times higher odds of these children quitting by age 28 compared to those whose parents did not quit [odds ratio (OR) 1.70; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.23, 2.36]. Results were similar among children who smoked weekly at age 17 (OR 1.91; 95% CI 1.41, 2.58). There was a similar, but non-significant, pattern of results among those whose parents quit late.
Conclusions Supporting our earlier findings, results suggest that parents' early smoking cessation has a long-term influence on their adult children's smoking cessation. Parents who smoke should be encouraged to quit when their children are young.