A UK study by pharmaceutical company Pfizer has revealed that parents who are addicted to nicotine will sometimes feed their children less in order to support their smoking habit.
Smokers also admit to buying their kids fewer clothes and less expensive Christmas presents to free up money for their cigarettes.
The research was conducted among 6,271 smokers to find out how they fund their smoking habit and the lengths to which they would go to keep supporting it.
While it is clear that the economic climate is taking it's toll, some of the statistics when it came to parenting were alarming.
Of the parents surveyed:
- 20 per cent say they have spent less money on clothes and shoes for their kids to save money instead of giving up cigarettes,
- 17 per cent have cut back on food and drinks for the kids,
- 35 per cent provide fewer treats, and
- 20 per cent have cut back on gifts instead of quitting smoking.
Worryingly, another nine per cent of surveyed parents who smoke say they have stolen money from their child's money box to pay for cigarettes and some say they no longer take their kids to after school groups or send them to school excursions.
A spokesperson for Pfizer, Dr Sarah Jarvis, told the UK's Daily Mail that 'Most smokers are fully aware of the financial burden that a smoking habit can have on their lives but the vast majority are not taking advantage of the free help available to them from their healthcare professional.'
She added, 'Smoking is extremely addictive, and while 70 per cent of people who still smoke say they want to quit, the average number of times a smoker has tried to quit before succeeding is four'.