Researchers at the University of Illinois in Chicago 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 behavior, and our study results corroborate this theory," said study lead author Elena Navas-Nacher.
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% 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.
The study was published online in the journal Preventive Medicine