Children whose parents smoke miss more school than classmates with non-smoking parents possibly because of a rate of higher respiratory infections.
A study, recently reported in the journal Pediatrics, found that among nearly 3,100 families in a national survey, children who lived with smokers missed an extra day out of the school year, on average.
They also tended to have more ear infections and chest colds than their peers.
While scientists say the study doesn’t prove that parents’ smoking itself leads to more absenteeism, doctors hope it will encourage parents to quit the habit.
“The researchers estimate that the extra school absences linked to smoking cost parents $176 million in lost wages in 2005 — assuming a working parent stayed home each time a child was sick.”
” ‘Since almost half of the smoking households in our study had low incomes,’ Levy noted, ‘that impact may be strongest on households least able to afford it.’ ”
” ‘Overall,’ the researchers write, ‘these results illustrate the extent of tobacco’s impact on child and family well-being, highlighting academic disadvantage and financial burden in families in which parents smoke.’ “
Do you buy the findings of this study that seem to link second-hand smoke with kids missing school? Would that study help you give up smoking? Would realizing the economic impact of the kids missing school help parents give up smoking?