“Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çuğun is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Parents Play Important Role in Whether Kids Smoke or Vape

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Tsu-Shuan Wu
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, California

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

“Checking your phone and vaping as you do” by Alper Çuğun is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Response: The background for this study involves the associations of household rules and parental awareness with youth tobacco use using data from the Population Assessment Tobacco and Health Study. Health concerns regarding non-cigarette tobacco products, specifically e-cigarettes, have been on the rise. We wanted to explore whether parents are up to date with the trends of popular tobacco products today and what role they may play in youth tobacco cessation and prevention.

The main findings of the study revealed that parents less often suspected their children’s tobacco use if their children reported using only e-cigarettes, and other non-cigarette tobacco products, when compared with cigarettes. Additionally, we found that youth who agreed with their parents that their home has strict rules for tobacco use were less likely to initiate of tobacco use compared to youth who had different understanding of the rules from their parents or youth from households with more permissive household rules. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Parents are important allies for healthcare professionals in addressing this public health issue. However, many parents are unaware of youth use of non-cigarette tobacco products. Our findings strongly suggest that tobacco-free household policies could go a long way in preventing youth tobacco initiation. Establishing tobacco-free households may be more important in preventing youth tobacco use when compared to merely talking to children and advising against tobacco use.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?

Response: Long-term tobacco use, more specifically e-cigarette use, requires more data and further research. A future research question would examine how well household rules in adolescence prevent tobacco use in adulthood. 

No disclosures.


Parental Awareness of Youth Tobacco Use and the Role of Household Tobacco Rules in Use Prevention
Tsu-Shuan Wu and Benjamin W. Chaffee
Pediatrics October 2020, e20194034; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2019-4034



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Last Updated on October 8, 2020 by Marie Benz MD FAAD