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Long-term study of smoking by secondary schoolchildren.
  1. M H Banks,
  2. B R Bewley,
  3. J M Bland,
  4. J R Dean,
  5. V Pollard


    We report the methodology and some first year results of a 5-year longitudinal study of smoking. In 6330 Derbyshire secondary schoolchildren aged 11-16 years, 6% of boys and 2.5% of girls were smoking one or more cigarettes per week. Higher rates of regular smoking and of children who had tried smoking were found in secondary modern schools, followed by middle, comprehensive and grammar schools. The results clarify the relationship between children's smoking habits and those of the parents and siblings. Boys were more likely to smoke if their fathers smoked and girls were more likely to smoke if their mothers smoked. Irrespective of parental smoking, whether or not siblings smoked had a great influence on whether the child would smoke. Having more money to spend, working at a part-time job, spending more evenings out with a mixed-sex peer group, at a youth club, or out dancing, and playing truant from school were all associated with an increased risk of smoking.

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