Teen smoking not caused by parent copy-cat effect

The New Zealand study included data from a Year 10 In-depth Survey of the NZ Youth Tobacco Monitor, in which 3189 students aged 14–15 years completed questionnaires.

Exposure to secondhand smoke and lack of anti-smoking expectations from parents proved to be independently associated with both smoking susceptibility and current smoking in teenagers.

However, parental smoking was not independently associated with smoking susceptibility or current smoking, and findings were similar regardless of whether one or both parents were smokers. 

Other factors that increased smoking susceptibility and current smoking were receiving pocket money with an absence of parental monitoring of expenditure, and a lack of parental rule setting.

The researchers concluded that not allowing smoking in the home, communicating non-smoking expectations to children, monitoring pocket money, and setting rules to guide behaviour are strategies which are