Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Both Good And Bad Movie Characters Who Smoke Influence Teens To Do The Same

Date:
July 3, 2009
Source:
Dartmouth College
Summary:
Researchers have determined that movie characters who smoke, regardless of whether they are "good guys" or "bad guys," influence teens to try smoking.

Dartmouth researchers have determined that movie characters who smoke, regardless of whether they are "good guys" or "bad guys," influence teens to try smoking.

"Previous studies have confirmed a link between smoking in movies and the initiation of smoking by adolescents, and we wanted to dig deeper into the data to see if the type of character who is smoking matters. Is it 'good guys' or 'bad guys' that have more of an influence?" said Susanne Tanski, the lead author on the study, and an assistant professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School. "It's true that 'bad guys' are more often smokers in the movies, but there really are not that many 'bad guys' compared to 'good guys'. Episode for episode, youth who saw negative character smoking were more likely to start smoking, but since overall there is so much more exposure to 'good guy' smoking, the net effect is similar."

The survey also revealed that low-risk teens, based on sensation-seeking behavior, are more strongly influenced by "bad guy" movie smoking. "This suggests that it's alluring for 'good' kids to emulate the 'bad' characters on the movie screen," said Tanksi.

Tanski is part of a team of researchers at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) who have been studying the connections between popular culture and risky behavior in adolescents. They have published numerous journal articles that document the link between exposure to smoking and drinking alcohol in movies and teens using tobacco and alcohol.

In May 2009, two members of this team, James Sargent and Todd Heatherton, published a research letter in the Journal of the American Medical Association that reported declining trends in both occurrences of smoking in movies and in smoking among U.S. eight graders between 1996 and 2007. 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."

In addition to Tanski, authors on the Pediatrics study include: Mike Stoolmiller with the Oregon Social Learning Center at the University of Oregon, Sonya Dal Cin with the University of Michigan, and Keilah Worth, Jennifer Gibson, and James Sargent all with Dartmouth Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Dartmouth College. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adolescent Smoking: Who Matters More, Good Guys or Bad Guys? Pediatrics, July 2009

Cite This Page:

Dartmouth College. "Both Good And Bad Movie Characters Who Smoke Influence Teens To Do The Same." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701122708.htm>.
Dartmouth College. (2009, July 3). Both Good And Bad Movie Characters Who Smoke Influence Teens To Do The Same. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701122708.htm
Dartmouth College. "Both Good And Bad Movie Characters Who Smoke Influence Teens To Do The Same." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090701122708.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins