Researchers have found that that growing up in a home with a regular smoker nearly doubles the chances of a child becoming an adult smoker. “We know that exposure to cigarette smoking as a child is a risk factor for adult smoking because it is a learnt behaviour, and our study results corroborate this theory,” said study lead author Elena Navas-Nacher. Navas-Nacher is a researcher at the University of Illinois in Chicago.
The findings are based on data from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos (HCHS/SOL), the largest ongoing study of this ethno-culturally diverse population in the US. The researchers looked at data collected from 13,231 adults between the ages 18-74. Forty percent of participants reported being exposed to smoking in their homes as children and adolescents, and 20 percent of all participants were current cigarette smokers. Childhood exposure to household smoking nearly doubled the risk of being a current smoker compared with those never exposed to smoking within the household.