Many parents know little about new tobacco products and therefore might not be aware of when their teens might be using these products. While parents may talk to their children about not using, how effective is the “talk” versus the establishment of no-smoking rules in the home? To answer that question, Wu et al (10.1542/peds.2019-4034) share an analysis of data obtained from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health Study, a national longitudinal household survey looking at responses to children and parents over time regarding their adolescent’s use of tobacco products. The authors surveyed more than 23,000 parents in regard to their teens use of tobacco (who were also surveyed) and separated the use of these products into categories: cigarette only, e-cigarette only, smokeless tobacco only, non-cigarette combustibles only, and poly-use of products.
It will likely not surprise you to learn that parents and other caregivers less often suspected their teens were using tobacco if they were using e-cigarettes, non-cigarette combustible products, or smokeless tobacco compared to combustible cigarettes. On the other hand, it may surprise you to find that house rules forbidding tobacco to be smoked in the home were a more powerful deterrent to smoking than when parents simply talked with youth about their not using tobacco.
This is a study you will want to share with parents of your pre-adolescent patients to institute house rules before tobacco initiation becomes an issue (and it will likely become an issue). There is a lot more useful information to smoke out than we’ve shared in this blog, so link to this interesting study and learn more.