A new study reveals that adolescents aged 12 to 17 living with mothers who are current smokers or who have had a major depressive episode in the past year are far more likely to smoke than adolescents not living under these circumstances.
The study was sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as part of its strategic initiative on data and outcomes – an effort to create integrated data systems that help inform policy makers and providers on behavioral health issues.
The new study shows that adolescents living with mothers who currently smoke were nearly three times more likely to take up smoking than adolescents living with non-smoking mothers (16.9 percent versus 5.8 percent). Similarly, adolescents living with mothers who have suffered from a major depressive episode in the past year were almost twice as likely to take up smoking as adolescents not living in that situation (14.3 percent versus 7.9 percent).
In addition the study revealed adolescents living with mothers who had a major depressive episode and were current smokers were more than four times more likely to smoke than adolescents living with mothers who had neither of these conditions (25.3 percent versus 5.6 percent).
More than 1 in 4 (25.6 percent) of adolescents live with mothers who currently smoke and nearly 1 in10 adolescents (9.7 percent) live with mothers who have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year. About 1 in 27 (3.7 percent) of all adolescents live with mothers with both of these conditions.
“These findings highlight factors that influence smoking among adolescents. It also suggests that prevention of smoking requires attention to multiple risk factors, including mental illness in the family,” said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D. “Knowing the factors that contribute to smoking helps to design and implement the best approach towards prevention and well-being.”
These new data occur against the backdrop of an overall decline in past month smoking rates among adolescents — from 13.0 percent in 2002 to 9.3 percent in 2008. Despite this progress, however, an estimated 1.4 million persons aged 11 to 17 started smoking in the in the past 12 months.
Adolescent Smoking and Maternal Risk Factors is based on data collected during 2005 to 2007 from SAMHSA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health which collected samples from 7, 359 mother-child pairs. The full report is available on line at http://oas.samhsa.gov/2k10/166/166SmokingMoms.cfm . For related publications and information, visit http://www.samhsa.gov/.
Media Contact: SAMHSA Press Office