Annals of Health Law
STRATEGY AGAINST SMOKING
smoker. An individual’s group membership will depend on several criteria.
As indicated above157, socioeconomic status is a very consistent and reliable
factor in determining the probability of smoking: several studies have
shown a negative association between parental socioeconomic status and
tobacco use in their children. 158 The correlation is even more consistent
among adolescents from ten to fourteen years than for individuals aged
fifteen to twenty-one. 159 The participants’, which usually means their
parents’, socioeconomic status shall therefore be the most important
criterion to determine a participant’s group membership. There is also
evidence suggesting an intergenerational transmission of smoking behavior
from parents to their children, 160 so, the participants’ parents’ smoking
status shall be a further criterion. This factor shall only be considered in
cases where at least one parent is a heavy (more than twenty-five cigarettes
per day) or an average (ten to twenty-five cigarettes per day) smoker.
Studies also indicate that children who grow up not with both biological
parents but with single parents or with a step-family are more likely to start
smoking. 161 Accordingly, that factor can be taken into consideration when
determining risk. Other criteria that allow inferences regarding adolescents’
smoking tendencies162 are the parents’ level of education163 and, more
importantly, the smoking prevalence within the social network. 164
However, these criteria are either less reliable (like the influence of the
parents’ level of education165) or harder to measure (the smoking prevalence
157. See supra Introduction.
158. See Laura Blow, Andrew Leicester & Frank Windmeijer, Parental Income and
Children’s Smoking Behaviour: Evidence from the British Household Panel Survey passim
(May 2005) (ISF Working Papers); Margaret D. Hanson & Edith Chen, Socioeconomic
Status and Health Behaviors in Adolescence: A Review of the Literature, 30 J. BEHAV. MED.
263, 265-68 (2007).
159. See Hanson & Chen, supra note 157, passim; Patrick West, Helen Sweeting &
Robert Young, Smoking in Scottish Youths: Personal Income, Parental Social Class and the
Cost of Smoking, 16 TOBACCO CONTROL 329 passim (2007).
160. See Christian Bantle & John P. Haisken-DeNew, Smoke Signals: The
Intergenerational Transmission of Smoking Behavior, DIW DISCUSSION PAPER NO. 277
161. Kelly Musick & Ann Meier, Are Both Parents Always Better Than One? Parental
Conflict and Young Adult Well-Being, 39( 5) SOC. SCI. RES. 814, 816 (2010).
162. See Suzanne L. Tyas & Linda L. Pederson, Psychosocial Factors Related to
Adolescent Smoking: A Critical Review of the Literature, 7 TOBACCO CONTROL 409, 411-15
163. BJÖRN HIBELL ET AL., THE ESPAD REPORT 2003: ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUG USE
AMONG STUDENTS IN 35 EUROPEAN COUNTRIES 191-193 (2004).
164. Bettina F. Piko et al., A Culture-Based Study of Personal and Social Influences of
Adolescent Smoking, 15 EUR. J. PUB. HEALTH 393, 393 (2005); Patrick West et al., Family
and Friends’ Influences on the Uptake of Regular Smoking from Mid-Adolescence to Early
Adulthood, 94 ADDICTION 1397 passim (1999).