August 29, 2011

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Huge new study confirms effects of smoking in movies on youth in 6 EU countries

A new paper, just published in Thorax, entitled "Smokng in movies and adolescent smoking: Cross cultural study in six European countries, is the largest such study to date, involving over 16,000 teens from Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland and Scotland, found that youth who were highly exposed to onscreen smoking were about twice as likely to smoke as lightly exposed youth.  This paper is particularly important because the social environment and background prevalence varies widely across these countries.  In addition, the study was large enough to control for the number of movies seen, which would capture other exposures such as sex and violence.  As in earlier studies, there was a dose-response, with the larger marginal effects tending to be in the more lightly exposed kids.  This paper builds on the already strong evidence that smoking in movies causes smoking and that there is a dose-response, raising further concerns about the practice of governments subsidizing films with smoking. Click here to read the study and here to read our policy forum piece from PLoS on the subsidy issue (as well as the need to modernize rating systems to adult rate films as a way of reducing youth exposure).

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