The old adage of "do as I say, not as I do" is difficult to enforce for many parents, particularly when children get older and begin to question authority.
As World No Tobacco Day (May 31st) approaches, Dr Howard Marsh of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is urging moms and dads to give up smoking to set a good example for their children.
He cites statistics from a study published in Addiction magazine, indicating that children of non-smoking parents are 70 percent less likely to take up the habit than children of smokers.
At the same time, quitting makes a significant difference – kids whose parents successfully stop smoking are 40 percent less likely to start, according to the research.
"By quitting smoking, parents can play a major role in helping to end the vicious cycle of passing addiction from generation to generation," comments Dr Marsh.
He suggests that people who are looking to leave cigarettes behind may want to try smoking cessation treatments, which can be recommended by a medical professional.
Around 90 percent of adult smokers began before they were 19 years old, according to the American Cancer Society.