A survey of more than 2,000 U.S. teens showed that those from families who had dinner together fewer than three times a week were almost four times as likely to use tobacco and more than twice as likely to try alcohol or marijuana compared with peers who had family meals five to seven times weekly. Kathleen Ferrigno of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University said "parent engagement" during a family dinner leads to conversation about other issues, such as peer pressure to smoke or drink.

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