A new study has shown a connection with children of divorced parents, and a tendency to smoke, as compared to their peers.
This University of Toronto study, published online this month in the journal Public Health, shows that men who experienced parental divorce before they turned 18 had 48-per-cent higher odds of ever smoking 100 or more cigarettes than men whose parents did not divorce. Women from divorced families were also at risk, with 39-per-cent higher odds of smoking in comparison to women from intact families.
They have yet to find a direct link between the two, but they have some theories.
From this study, researchers cannot determine why parental divorce is linked to smoking initiation. However, co-author Joanne Filippelli, a University of Toronto doctoral student, suggests it is possible that “children upset by their parents’ divorce may use smoking as a coping mechanism to regulate emotions and stress. Some research suggests this calming effect may be particularly attractive to those who have suffered early adversities.”
When considering a divorce, be sure to keep the physical and mental health of your children in mind.