YOUNGSTERS on Wearside are so worried about their parents’ smoking habits that they’d be prepared to go without Christmas presents if it meant they’d quit.
That’s according to new research on North East children aged seven to 13 from the Department of Health, which found that most children asked would forgoe pocket money and even agree to do their homework each night.
A survey carried out showed that 99 per cent of children who have a parent who smokes want them to give it up.
It also found that almost three quarters of children are worried their parents will die unless they give up.
Ailsa Rutter, director of anti-smoking group Fresh, said: “Children worry deeply about their parents and grandparents smoking and are delighted when they quit, so their voice can be a really positive one on the health of their family.
“Every mum and dad wants to be around to watch their kids grow, experience the wonderful moments like riding a bike, winning at football, or walking up the aisle.
“Smoking tragically robs too many parents of being around to see these moments.
“Quitting smoking will be treasured by your loved ones more than the most expensive gift.
“What’s more, it’s free, will save you a packet and the benefits last long after the tinsel has come down.”
Parents are being urged to get a Quit Kit to help them put down cigarettes.
Birds of a Feather actor Linda Robson saw her dad die from lung cancer aged 57.
She says that the experience has persuaded her to stop smoking.
She said: “The thought of my kids visiting me in hospital was a strong motivation for me and since I decided to quit, my three kids have been a huge support.”
A Quit Kit can be ordered by going to nhs.uk/smokefree or texting KIT to 63818.