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Comment & Response
February 24, 2020

New Fire Exit to Help Parents Flee Smoking: Will Pediatric Offices Lock the Door or Lead the Way?

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of General Academic Pediatrics, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston
JAMA Pediatr. Published online February 24, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.6251

To the Editor We thank Belamarich and Racine for their comments1 on our publication, “Treating Parents for Tobacco Use in the Pediatric Setting: The Clinical Effort Against Secondhand Smoke Exposure Cluster Randomized Clinical Trial.”2 We share their concern that tobacco use is a public health crisis requiring multiple approaches and broad public health efforts. Despite multiple and persistent efforts to denormalize tobacco use, data have shown that parents continue to smoke and expose their children to tobacco smoke.3 Parents are the most important group to invest in for tobacco cessation strategies because when they quit, they gain more than 10 years of life on average and have extra money to spend on their families while they protect their children (and unborn babies) from the harms of tobacco smoke. Their children also have lower risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, higher reading and math scores, fewer missed school days, and lower chance of using tobacco as adults.

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