Minors Smoking Habit affected by Movies

Published on December 17th, 2009 11:46
Um Thurman smokes a cigarette

Films featuring a scene where someone is smoking should be automatically banned, for to protect the children’s health. As all of us observed, movies can influence our lives, how we dress, where we live and possible whether we smoke.

A recent study finds that the more Mexican American teenagers watch film scenes where favorite actors smoke, the more likely they may be to start smoking cigarettes.

Researchers investigated 1,286 Mexican American adolescents, some of them were born in Mexico, some in the U.S., for to find out how many smoking scenes they had watched and what were their smoking habits. It is known from the past studies that it’s very rare for smoking to be portrayed in a negative light. In general, smokers in movies tend to be tough guys or sexy, rebellious women - who allure adolescents into smoking.

At the end of the investigation, they found a link between experimenting with cigarettes and the films. For example they discovered 5% of smoking habit among those who had no or little exposure to movies, but 30% for teens who had viewed up to 600 scenes of smoking.

Statistics show that the number of ‘lead’ characters that smoke in film and television is about 300% higher in comparison with people in reality. Researchers also found that the smoking rate depends also by the countries where the smokers have born. For example they found that for those born in Mexico, smoking scenes were the biggest forecaster for experimentation, but for those born in the U.S. experimenters increased with the amount of exposure, and leveled off.

There were other interdependences: those with risk-taking trends and higher anxiety levels reported more exposure to movie smoking than low risk-takers and those with lower anxiety levels. Also, they found that more smokers in the house are then the more exposure to movie smoking scenes.

So, adolescents who had never smoked are almost three times more likely to then take up the habit if they had watched films packed with smoking scenes, compared with those who had seen films with the least amount of on-screen smoking. Researchers concluded that parents need to limit their adolescents’ access to R-rated movies, which recent study has shown have the most description of smoking.

By Joanna Johnson, Staff Writer Copyright © 2010 TobaccoPub. All rights reserved.

Related tags: smoking habit | smoke | cigarette | smoker | movies | smoking addiction | smokers

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