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Parental Transmission of Smoking among Middle-Aged and Older Populations in Russia and Belarus


Gugushvili, Alexi; McKee, Martin; Azarova, Aytalina; Murphy, Michael; Irdam, Darja; & King, Lawrence (2018). Parental Transmission of Smoking among Middle-Aged and Older Populations in Russia and Belarus. International Journal of Public Health, 63(3), 349-358. PMCID: PMC5978922


Objectives: The very high rates of smoking among men and the rapid changes among women in the Post-Soviet countries mean that this region offers an opportunity to understand better the intergenerational role of parental influences on smoking. Methods: In this study, we exploit a unique data set, the PrivMort cohort study conducted in 30 Russian and 20 Belarusian towns in 2014–2015, which collects information on behaviours of middle-aged and older individuals and their parents, including smoking. We explored the associations between smoking by parents and their offspring using multiply imputed data sets and multilevel mixed-effect Poisson regressions. Results: Adjusting for a wide array of social origin, socio-demographic, and socio-economic variables, our analysis suggests that sons of regularly smoking fathers have prevalence ratios of 1.35 [95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.21–1.50] and 1.39 (CI 1.23–1.58) of smoking, while the figures for daughters of regularly smoking mothers are 1.91 (CI 1.40–2.61) and 2.30 (CI 1.61–3.28), respectively, in Russia and Belarus. Conclusions: Intergenerational paternal and maternal influences on smoking should be taken into account in studies seeking to monitor the rates of smoking and the impact of tobacco control programmes.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

International Journal of Public Health


Gugushvili, Alexi
McKee, Martin
Azarova, Aytalina
Murphy, Michael
Irdam, Darja
King, Lawrence