Cigarette smoking is of interest to the National Institute on Drug Abuse both because of
the public health problems associated with this form of substance abuse and because this
behavior represents a prototypic dependence process. In the past few years the
government has made every effort to reach the masses, in an attempt to curb the
exploitation of tobbacco use, and its acceptance among Americas Youngsters. However,
cigarette smoking among adolescents is on the rise.

The premise that the behavior of adolescents is influenced by the behavior of their
parents is central to many considerations of health and social behavior (Ausubel,
Montemayor, & Svajiian, 1977; Bandura & Walters, 1963). Many young people between
10-18 years of age experiment with smoking, smoking is a personal choice, and usually
exploratory in nature. Typically, it takes place in rather young people and is largely
dependent on: first, the availability of opportunity to engage in the behavior, second,
having a fairly high degree of curiosity about the effects of the behavior; third, in finding
it a way of expressing either conformity to the behavior or others (such as parents, older
siblings or peers), forth, as in “Miller and Dollar’s” explanation of Observational
Learning, The Copying behavior effect.

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This research is to examine the effects of parental smoking (behavior), has, on the
decision of teens to smoke cigarettes. Due to prior studies using global measures that
may or may not include South Eastern North Carolina. The Fayetteville/Fort Bragg area
was chosen for this study to pinpoint the effects in this particular locale. Fort Bragg and
Pope Air Force Base have a very diverse socieo-economic and culturally diverse
population, which will have a positive effect on randomness of sample selection. With
this association in mind, this researcher is interested in knowing if there is a relationship
of Parental influence on Teen Smoking within this Military Community.

The prevalence of cigarette smoking among young teenagers is a growing
problem in the United States, many young people between the ages of 10-18 are
experimenting with tobacco. During the 1040’s and 50’s smoking was popular and
socially acceptable. Movie stars, sports heroes, and celebrities appeared in cigarette
advertisements that promoted and heavily influenced teens. Influence also came from
Television and other media sources. The desires to be accepted and to feel grown up are
among the most common reasons to start smoking. Yet, even though teenagers
sometimes smoke to gain independence, and to be part of the crowd parental influence
plays the strongest role as to whether or their children will smoke, Journal of American
Medical Association (JAMA), 1991. Children are exposed to and influenced by the
parents, siblings, and the media long before peer pressure will become a factor. Mothers
should not smoke during pregnancy, nicotine, which crosses the placental barrier, may
affect the female fetus during an important period of development so as to predispose the
brain to the addictive influence of nicotine. Prenatal exposure to smoking has previously
been linked with impairments in memory, learning, cognition, and perception in the
growing child. (National Institute of Drug Abuse, 1995) Subsequent follow-up after 12
years suggest that regardless of the amount or duration of current or past maternal
smoking, the strongest correlation between maternal smoking and a daughter’s smoking
occurred when the mother smoked during pregnancy. NIDA also reported that of 192
mothers and their first born adolescents with a mean age of 12 1/2, the analysis revealed
that 26.6% of the girls whose mother smoked while pregnant had smoked in the past
The 1991 smoking prevalence estimate of 25.7% is virtually no different from the
previous year’s estimate of 25.5%. If current trends persist, we will not meet one of the
nation’s health objectives, particularly a smoking prevalence of no more than 15% by the
year 2000. When comparing the use of alcohol, cigarettes, and other drugs, only
cigarette use did not decline substantially among high school senior among 1981 to 1991.

In contrast studies performed by “household survey” by the NIDA and the CDC, (Centers
for Disease Control) in 1991 and 92 respectively, suggested that the strongest influence
on teenage smoking is parents. Research also revealed that approximately three fourths
of adult regular smokers smoke their first cigarette before the


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