Smoking and drinking parents a powerful influence

Children as young as 2 years old are influenced by whether their parents smoke and drink alcohol, researchers said on Monday.

In a study of 2- to 6-year-olds, children who were told to "shop" for groceries for a hungry doll were four times more likely to choose cigarettes if their parents smoked and three times more likely to pick wine or beer if their parents drank at least once a month.

Children who viewed PG-13 or R-rated movies were five times as likely to choose wine or beer. Of the 120 children in the study, 28 percent bought cigarettes and 62 percent purchased alcohol among the average of 17 products chosen, Reuters reports.

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