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Both good/bad movie characters who smoke influence teens to do the same
Date:7/1/2009

In that letter, the authors state, "[M]ovie smoking represents only one of several factors that contribute to youth smoking trends, including the marketing of tobacco, price of cigarettes, restrictions imposed by the Master Settlement Agreement in 1999, and state prevention programs. Nonetheless, the downward trend in movie smoking is consistent with an influence on downward trends in adolescent smoking." Sargent is a professor of pediatrics and the co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at DMS's Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Heatherton is a professor of psychological and brain sciences at Dartmouth College.

Tanski acknowledges that, although there is a downward trend, smoking still occurs in many movies that teens watch, particularly given the popularity of movie channels and video rentals providing access to older films. "Parents should limit movie viewing and specifically restrict access to R-rated movies, which tend to contain more smoking," she said. "When teens do see movies or TV shows that contain smoking, parents should talk with them in an effort to discourage initiation of smoking."


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Contact: Sue Knapp
sue.knapp@dartmouth.edu
603-646-3661
Dartmouth College
Source:Eurekalert

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