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Over 50% of children would be willing to give up their Christmas presents in return for their parents stopping smoking, according to new research from the Department of Health.
The research involved one thousand children in England who were polled as part of the research, aged between seven and 13. The release of the research coincides with a new advertising campaign from the Department of Health, aimed at encouraging smokers to quit. The research revealed a number of key findings relating to children’s attitudes towards smoking, with 94% saying that they thought smoking was dangerous (42%) or stupid (52%). Almost 100% of children who had a parent that smoked said they wished they would quit.
The children were asked as part of the research what they would be willing to do if it meant their parents would quit smoking. Almost 40% said they would forego Christmas presents, and almost 60% would give up their pocket money. Over three quarters of children said they would go to bed when they were told if their parents would quit smoking. The research also revealed how worried children of smoking parents were about the associated health risks of smoking, with 73% saying they worried about their parent dying because of it. Heart disease was pinpointed specifically by 58% of participants. Nearly 30% of children said they had resorted to hiding cigarettes from their parents in the hope that they will quit.
In response to the findings from the research, Public Health Minister Anne Milton said that it is hoped that “the campaign will give people that extra bit of encouragement they need to quit.”