MONDAY, 22 JUNE 2015The study analysed the number of children living in poverty by household and the amount spent on smoking within the household. 1.1 million children- almost half of all children in poverty - were estimated to be living with at least one parent who smokes. A further 400,000 would be classified as being in poverty if parental tobacco expenditure was subtracted from household income.
"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." says lead author, Dr Tessa Langley from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies at the University of Nottingham.
Langley estimated an average spending of £50 on tobacco per week if both parents smoke, which is a substantial drain for families living on an already tight budget. The British government, that aims to end child poverty by 2020, now has evidence that reducing smoking addiction is one effective way to reach this goal.
Written by Annabelle Monnot.