Teens Less Likely to Smoke When Parents Set Limits

If you sometimes feel like you don’t know how to guide your teen through the various minefields they face, then you are not alone.  Am I being too strict?  Will they rebel against too-tight boundaries?  Or am I too lenient, and will they take advantage of opportunities to stray? In the area of teen smoking, a Chicago Tribune article offers advice based on a new study showing that “parents who set limits are less likely to have kids who smoke, regardless of their ethnic and racial backgrounds.” Apparently, a style of parenting “associated with rule enforcement, curfews and set bedtimes, was more likely to go hand in hand with so-called anti-tobacco parenting strategies.”  The article reported that this type of parenting was linked to a lower chance the teen would initiate smoking at all.  Specifically, the anti-tobacco strategies included things such as:

  • Punishing a child if he or she has been caught smoking
  • Discussing with the child the motivations behind smoking
  • Talking about the dangers of smoking