Adolescent Smoking and Maternal Risk Factors

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U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Mothers who smoke cigarettes and/or have had a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year raise children who are more likely to smoke cigarettes, according to this federal report.

This brief from SAMHSA’s National Surveys on Drug Use and Health – based on a 2005 to 2007 survey of mothers who live with their children ages 12-17 – shows 25.3 percent of adolescents who live with their mothers and whose mothers reported past-month cigarette use and a past-year MDE smoked cigarettes in the past month themselves, compared with a 5.6 percent past-month smoking rate among adolescents whose mothers did not smoke in the past month or have a past-year MDE.

Of the two variables, the mothers’ smoking rates appears to have the larger effect on their children’s smoking; 15.5 percent of adolescents, whose mothers reported past-month cigarette use but no past-year MDE, reported past-month cigarette use, nearly double the 8.1 percent smoking rate of adolescents whose mothers did not report past-month cigarette use but did report a past-year MDE.

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