Engaging schools and families in tobacco prevention and control

Conference paper


Cigarette smoking is a learned behaviour reinforced by nicotine addiction which begins at an early age. The influences that contribute to the formation of this behaviour include those of parents, siblings, peers and role models, the latter usually exerted through the mass media. Parents who are smokers have children who are more likely to smoke, and nicotine predisposes a foetus at the very beginning of life. Smokers’ children are likely to be influenced by their behaviour and become cigarette smokers as they grow up. Control and reduction of parental smoking is therefore crucial in the prevention of smoking by children (Department of Health and Human Services, 1989). Dr Gregory Tsang’s paper, ‘The family: The key to tobacco control’ (this volume) proposes that the family should be targeted to reduce the prevalence of smoking among young people in China. This is in line with Confucious’ teaching that one should correct one’s own behaviour before correcting family behaviour and righting the wrongs of the world. In order to put Dr Tsang’s proposal into effect, however, we need an effective method of stopping adults from smoking. Educating shildren at an early age to persuade their parents to stop smoking is clever and could work well in China, where there is a policy of one child per family and the health of that only child is highly valued by parents and other members of the family.


Young People Tobacco Control Media Campaign Tobacco Industry Parental Smoking 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Chen, T. & Winder, A. (1990) The opium wars revisited as US forces tobacco exports in Asia. Am. J. Public Health, 80, 659 – 662PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Department of Health and Human Services (1989) Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General (DHHS Publcation No. (CDC) 89-8411), Washington DC: US Government Printing OfficeGoogle Scholar
  3. Glynn, T.J., Greenwald, P., Mills, S.M.& Manley, M.W. (1993) Youth tobacco use in the United States: Problems, progress, goals, and potential solutions. Prev. Med., 22, 568 – 575PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Reid, D.J., McNeill, A.D. & Glynn, T.J. (1995) Reducing the prevalence of smoking in youth in western countries: An international review. Tob. Control, 4, 266 – 277CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Chen
    • 1
  1. 1.Asia-Pacific Health Promotion and Development, Health Communications and Education Program, Department of Applied Health SciencesTulane University School of Public Health and Tropical MedicineNew OrleansUSA

Personalised recommendations