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 September 26, 2003
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Movies Spur Teen Smoking
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TUESDAY, July 15 (HealthDayNews) -- If you want to prevent your teens from smoking, you might consider screening the movies they watch.

That parental advice comes in a study in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatric Adolescent Medicine.

Dartmouth College researchers say they've found a link between adolescent smoking and movies, and they advise pediatricians to urge parents to monitor their teens access to movies. The researchers also say parents should pay attention to movie ratings.

"We want pediatricians to talk with parents of adolescents about how movies can influence their young teenagers," James Sargent, an associate professor at the Dartmouth Medical School, says in a news release.

"Parents need to know that if they can reduce their child's exposure to smoking in movies, it may have a profound impact on reducing their chances of starting to smoke and drink," Sargent says.

He and his fellow researchers have published a number of papers and articles, which are cited in this new study. The Dartmouth researchers have concluded that teens see thousands of depictions of smoking by movie stars and these images influence teens' behavior and attitudes.

In this new study, the researchers offer advice to parents on how to limit their teens access to movies. That includes reducing subscriptions to movie channels on cable TV, limiting movie video or DVDs to one per week, and restricting access to R-rated movies.

"Such parenting measures could reduce rates of adolescent smoking without directly addressing the behavior," the researchers conclude.

More information

Here's where you can learn more about smoking and youth.

--Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Dartmouth Medical School, news release, July 14, 2003

Copyright � 2003 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.

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