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Children of persistent smokers are much more likely to smoke.
Parental smoking patterns strongly influence children’s smoking behavior. Children of persistent smokers-regardless of whether parents began smoking early or late or are heavy or light smokers-are much more likely to smoke than children of consistent nonsmokers, even after controlling for many potential confounders. An analysis of long-term multigenerational data also showed that parents who start smoking heavily in adolescence and remain heavy smokers into adulthood are especially likely to have multiple children who smoke (Vuolo M, et al. Pediatrics. 2013;132:e568-e577).
MS FREEDMAN is a freelance medical editor and writer in New Jersey. DR BURKE, section editor for Journal Club, is chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at Saint Agnes Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland. He is a contributing editor for Contemporary Pediatrics. The editors have nothing to disclose in regard to affiliations with or financial interests in any organizations that may have an interest in any part of this article.