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Friends, Family Influence Teens' Smoking Habits
A U.S. study of more than 3,600 students found that having a best friend who smoked was the strongest influence on whether an eighth-grade student reported smoking at any time. Students who had a smoking best friend were more than 6 times more likely than other students to have ever smoked and more than 12 times as likely to have smoked in the past week. And eighth-grade students with a family member who smoked were more than twice as likely to smoke than their peers living in non-smoking homes, according to the report in a recent issue of the Journal of School Health. "Middle school represents a time and place of vulnerability for children: therefore, advocacy for no-tobacco policies for all children and adults on middle school property or attending school functions needs to be continued

Professionals need to reach parents with stronger education efforts focused on the probability of their children using tobacco when easily accessible in the home," said researchers.
SOURCE: Journal of School Health 2002;72:58-64.

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