Maternal and Child Health Journal

, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 377–384 | Cite as

The Association Between Adolescent Smokers' Desire and Intentions to Quit Smoking and Their Views of Parents' Attitudes and Opinions about Smoking


Objective: To explore whether an association exists between adolescent smokers’ attitudes toward quitting and their beliefs about whether their parents know they smoke, their perceptions of whether their parents disapprove of smoking, their recollection of their parents’ expressed disapproval of smoking, and the importance they place on their parents’ opinions. Methods: This cross sectional study of US high school students included 17,287 respondents. Only those who had smoked in the past 30 days (4593 [26.6%]) were included in the analysis. “Have you ever seriously thought about quitting smoking?” was asked of all adolescent smokers. Those who had seriously thought about quitting were then asked about past attempts and how recent their last attempt was, while those who had not seriously thought about quitting were asked if they thought they would ever want to quit. Results: Regardless of whether their parents smoked, adolescents who placed value on their parents’ opinions were more likely to think seriously about quitting and to have tried to quit in the past 6 months. Recalling parents’ expressed desire that their child not smoke was associated with significant increases in the likelihood of seriously thinking about quitting even among those whose parents smoked. Agreeing with the statement, “When I’m older, my parents won't mind that I smoke” was significantly associated with decreased odds of seriously thinking about quitting and recently attempting to quit. Conclusions: Parents, both those who smoke and those who do not, may have a significant role in influencing young smokers’ desire to quit smoking.


smoking parents adolescent cessation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Maternal, Child and Family Health, PhiladelphiaDepartment of Public HealthPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.The Robert Wood Johnson FoundationPrincetonUSA

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