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Smoking Puts Some Children In Poverty, Study Suggests

First Posted: May 29, 2015 02:52 PM EDT

New findings published in the journal BMC Public Health reveal that smoking puts over 400,000 children in poverty. Researchers found that this nasty habit caused many families to have financial difficulties. Findings revealed that some people were even be likely to forgo basic household and food necessities in order to fund their addiction.

The study was based on national surveys that estimate the number of children living in povery by household structure. For instance, in 1999, the UK government announced a target to abolish poverty by 2020. However, it's unlikely to be met, according to researchers.

"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," Dr. Tessa Langley, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Researchers estimated that 1.1 million children in the United Kingdom, or half of all children in poverty, were living with at least one parent who smokes. Furthermore, 400,00 would be classified as being in poverty if parental tobacco expenditure was subtracted from household income.

It's certainly not to say that many smokers don't budget in their habit. However, the cost of smoking alone is still substantially draining on the budget of many low income families.

Researchers are hoping that in time, they can work with the government to improve the lives of many.

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