Smoking runs in families

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PARENTS were today urged to quit smoking for the sake of their children as a new survey revealed that school children were almost three times as likely to smoke if their parents did.

Brothers and sisters have an even greater influence on youngsters' smoking habits as research shows pupils are four times as likely to smoke if their siblings smoke, compared with those who have no brother and sisters who smoke.

The survey of more than 3,500 pupils aged 11-15 in England by the Health Education Authority (HEA) was released to coincide with World No Tobacco Day today, organised by the World Health Organisation. The WHO estimates that if current trends continue, about 250 million children alive today will eventually die as a result of smoking tobacco.