Enabling parents who smoke to prevent their children from initiating smoking: results from a 3-year intervention evaluation
Objective To evaluate effects of a home-based antismoking socialization program on the initiation of smoking among children whose parents smoke.
Design Three-year randomized controlled trial.
Participants Parents who were current smokers and had a child in the third grade who had not tried smoking were eligible; 873 parents-offspring pairs met these criteria, completed baseline interviews, and were randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition; 776 children (89%) completed an interview 3 years after baseline and were included in the study.
Intervention During 3 months, the intervention group (n = 371) received 5 printed activity guides, parenting tip sheets, child newsletters, and incentives; this group also received a booster activity guide 1 year later. The control group (n = 405) received fact sheets about smoking.
Results Initiation of smoking (first instance of puffing on a cigarette) was reported by 12% vs 19% of children in the intervention vs control groups. Logistic regression analysis indicated that children in the control condition had twice the odds of reporting initiation of smoking as children in the intervention condition (adjusted odds ratio, 2.16; P<.001), after adjusting for child sex, parent sex, parent race, parent educational achievement, child’s best friends’ smoking, parent smoking rate at baseline, and parent cessation status.
Conclusion Children in the preinitiation phase of smoking who receive antismoking socialization from their parents are less likely to initiate smoking, even if their parents smoke.