Movie Smoking Sways Kids to Light Up

Hollywood influence starts 'earlier than previously thought'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 9, 2008 8:28 PM CST
"The take-home message from our study is that the influence of viewing smoking in the movies starts much earlier than previously thought," said one author of the study.   (
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(Newser) – Movies sway kids to smoke at a much younger age than previously thought, a new study finds. Dartmouth Medical School tracked 2,200 kids aged 9-12 who went to a range of G, PG, and PG-13 films, and found that those who saw more on-screen smoking were more likely to light up later, WebMD reports. "The vast majority of smoking in movies that children are exposed to comes from movies that are youth-rated," one researcher said.

More than 60% of smoking incidents are in PG-13 films, while G and PG contain another 20%, researchers told US News & World Report. In all, youth-oriented flicks influenced 35% of studied child smokers to light up. The study was finished before the Motion Picture Association of America announced last May that it will base ratings partly on smoking in films.