HealthDay News — The prevalence rates of smoking and cessation in adulthood are associated with levels of childhood smoking intensity, according to a study published in the April 9 issue of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Tian Hu, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues conducted a study designed to confirm the relationship between adolescent smoking and daily adult smoking. Childhood smoking experience between ages 6 and 19 years in the 1970s and 1980s was classified in 6,687 participants from the International Childhood Cardiovascular Cohort Consortium who also provided smoking status information in their 20s and 40s in the United States, Finland, and Australia.

The researchers observed a direct correlation for prevalence of daily smoking in the participants’ 20s with degree of smoking during adolescence and an inverse association with the age at which that smoking experience occurred. For prediction of smoking during their 40s, similar patterns were observed. For the 2,465 smokers in their 20s, there was generally an inverse association for cessation by their 40s with the degree of smoking at ages 6 to 19 years. Among U.S., Finnish, and Australian participants, the prevalence of smoking during adolescence and adulthood was similar.

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“Extra efforts should be made to prevent smoking experimentation and/or initiation earlier in the life course given that it appears to be critically related to more unbreakable lifelong smoking patterns,” the authors write.


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