Divorce drives kids to smoke
Stay together for the kids, or at least for their lungs.
A study from the University of Toronto has found that children of divorced parents are more likely to start smoking before they turn 18. The analysis of 19,000 Americans showed that men with divorced parents are 48 percent more likely to smoke 100 or more cigarettes in their lifetime, compared to men whose parents are not divorced. Women had a 39 percent higher risk of smoking under the same circumstances.
Even when other risk factors for smoking--such as lower income and education levels, depression, mental health issues and childhood trauma - were considered, there remained a high correlation between broken families and child smoking rates. The study could not determine exactly why the link exists, but the research authors suggest that the emotional impact of a divorce might drive children to smoke as a coping mechanism.
Cigarette smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of chronic illness and premature death. The estimated economic burden of smoking is now about $193 billion annually in the U.S.