• Parents' Smoking Addiction Puts Children in Poverty, Study Says

    A parent's addiction can be a financial burden for the family, according to research
  • Hand holding a cigarette

    Photo Source: wtrf.com

    Here’s another reason to quit smoking: it’s a financial burden that even your family can feel.

    400,000 children in the UK are in poverty because of their parents’ smoking habits, according to research published in the UK.

    The parents would rather forgo buying basic necessities like food and instead use the money to buy cigarettes. This data was gathered from national surveys which estimate the number of children living in poverty by household structure.

    The UK has targeted to eliminate child poverty by 2020, and in doing so they must also determine the factors that contribute to it.

    “Smoking reduces the income available for families to feed, clothe and otherwise care for their children living in low-income households. This study demonstrates that if our government, and our health services, prioritized treating smoking dependence, it could have a major effect on child poverty as well as health,” said lead author, Dr Tessa Langley from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham.

    The new study estimated that 1.1million children in the UK were living with at least one parent who smoked. Half were considered to be impoverished. If tobacco expenditure were to be subtracted from household-income, another 400,000 would be in poverty.

    In 2009, the National Statistics Office reported that 17.3 million Filipino adults were tobacco smokers, 23% of which smoked daily. On average, male smokers consumed 11 cigarettes a day and female smokers consumed 7 cigarettes per day. If one cigarette stick costs P4, then one male smoker's total spending on his addiction for a month if he smokes 7 cigarettes a day would cost P840. Multiply that to a year and the costs would rise to P10, 080.

    Smoking impacts not only a family's finances, but of course its members' health, too. Earlier this year, a study showed that children who were exposed to secondhand smoke were 1.7 times more likely of having clogged arteries in their adulthood compared to children of nonsmokers. Clogged arteries lead to higher risks of a stroke. Read the full article here.


    Sources:

    May 29, 2015. “Parental smoking puts nearly half a million UK children into poverty”. sciencedaily.com
    Undated. “17.3 Million Filipino Adults Are Current Tobacco Smokers” psa.gov.ph

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