New study says parents can help prevent teen smoking

Monday, December 3rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Chicago-AP) -- New research suggests teenagers are much less likely to smoke if they think their parents disapprove.

And the study says parental disapproval can blunt the effect of peer pressure -- which previously has been shown to be a strong influence on whether teens take up smoking.

Study author Doctor James Sargent of Dartmouth Medical School says that parents underestimate their influence on their children.

He says often parents are overly concerned about about coming down too hard on their kids for fear the children will become more rebellious.

And Sargent says parents who smoked but who set non-smoking expectations on their kids had just as much influence as parents who didn't smoke.

A national study released over the summer found that 42 percent of teen-agers in West Virginia say they smoke. Nationally, 36 percent of teens smoke.