Parenting style and smoking-related cognitions have both successfully predicted adolescent smoking behaviour. Data were collected among 482 Dutch adolescents to examine whether effects of parenting styles (authoritative, permissive, authoritarian, rejecting, neglecting, measured by underlying dimensions support, strict control, and psychological control) on adolescent lifetime smoking were mediated by cognitions (pro-smoking attitude, social norm, self-efficacy, intention) and to study the role of gender in this process. Support was not significantly associated with smoking behaviour. The inverse relation between strict control and smoking was partly mediated by attitude and intention, both associated with increased smoking. Psychological control related directly to increased lifetime smoking. Combinations of dimensions creating the specific styles were not associated with cognitions or behaviour. Maternal and paternal parenting were equally associated with smoking cognitions and behaviour; nor were effects moderated by adolescent gender. Interventions to prevent adolescent smoking initiation should aim at increasing strict control and reducing psychological control.