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Study Finds Concern For Children A Significant New Reason To Quit Smoking

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Study Finds Concern For Children A Significant New Reason To Quit Smoking

New Zealand smokers increasingly say "setting an example" for children is an important reason to quit, according to new research.

The University of Otago, Wellington, said in a statement today that until recently health, cigarette prices, and the effect of second-hand smoke were given in surveys as the most important reasons for quitting.

New research, however, indicated smokers were now thinking more often of the impact of smoking on the chance of their children taking up smoking.

"Setting an example" for children was given as "very much" a reason for quitting by 51 percent of smokers, compared with 45 percent citing personal health concerns.

Lead author George Thomson said similar results had recently been shown in a French survey.

"Most smokers across a number of countries have until now rated personal health and cost as the main reason for quitting, and that was the case in New Zealand in the 1990s," he said.

"But in our survey cost (38 percent) is only the third ranked 'very much' reason, after children and health, which adds a new dimension to tobacco control efforts."

Dr Thomson said policymakers and health officials could take note of the trend and consider placing greater emphasis on "social reasons" on tobacco pack warnings and in media campaigns.

Meanwhile, a British study said evidence was mounting that parents who smoked really should quit -- or at least not smoke at home, Reuters reported.

Children who breathed second-hand smoke were more likely to struggle with mental health problems, especially hyperactivity and "bad" behaviour, said the study, published in the Archives of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.

However, while the findings added urgency to the push for parents to quit smoking or at least smoke outside the home, it remained unclear whether tobacco fumes actually took a toll on children's' brains or if something else was at play, said researchers, led by Mark Hamer of University College London.

"We know that exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a lot of physical health problems in children, although the mental health side has not been explored," he said.


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