Smoking in movies can inspire teens to light up

By Frank Stirk | August 2, 2012

Movies in which the actors smoke cigarettes can influence avid teen moviegoers to take up the habit themselves, according to a new study reported by Reuters.

“The more they see it, the more they start to see ways that [smoking] might make them seem more a movie star,” said lead researcher Dr. James Sargent, a pediatrician with the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Since teens are more likely to watch movies rated PG-13, the researchers calculated 18 per cent fewer young people would be inspired to start smoking if smoking automatically earned a movie an R rating.

The study was reported in Pediatrics.

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