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Link between smoking, education level traced to early childhood

May 22, 2014
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The link between achieving higher levels of education and being less likely to smoke has been observed for years, but new research from Yale University says this tendency stems from factors apparent long before the higher levels of education are reached.

A study published in the journal Social Science Research, examining the histories of adults ages 26 to 29, found that the characteristics that explain the differences in smoking by level of education can be seen by as early as age 12.

Study author Vida Maralani, a Yale assistant professor of sociology, said that factors such as young people's family of origin and their non-cognitive skills may actually have a greater bearing on future decision-making about smoking than their aspirations to go to college.

Maralani stated, “This means that in order to reduce educational inequalities in smoking, we have to figure out exactly which characteristics before age 12 predict that a child will both not take up smoking and stay committed to school.”

For more information about the study, click here.

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