Parents, public policy, and youth smoking
Publication Source

Journal of Policy Analysis and Management

Journal article
The Americas
Economy status
High-income economies

This paper jointly examines the importance of parental influences, prices, and tobacco control policies on the smoking behavior of youths. Data are drawn from the Audits & Surveys (A&S) 1996 survey of high school students across the United States from “The Study of Smoking and Tobacco Use Among Young People” to
examine the impact of parental influences on the probability of youth smoking in the context of both specific observable parenting behaviors and in terms of youths’ perceptions of the importance of their parents’ opinions. The key finding is that specific parental influences (such as communication/bonding (extent of discussions
about daily issues between parent/adult and child), limit-setting with regard to free time, home smoking rules, and parental smoking behavior) and the extent to which teenagers value their parents’ opinions play a significant role in youth smoking decisions. Our results by age reveal that specific modifications related to improving communication channels and implementing home smoking rules and more general changes that improve the quality of the parent-child relationship so teens place a higher value on their parents’ opinions are likely to be particularly effective in the early teen years.