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Watching movies featuring characters who smoke negatively influences Mexican-American teens

g at the start of the study, 17 percent tried it at the end of the study. As exposure to smoking scenes in the movies increased, so did their chances of ever experimenting.

"Exposure to movie smoking predicted smoking onset even after controlling for several established risk-factors, like exposure to friends who smoke," said Wilkinson.

Results showed that the effect size of movie watching was smaller than published studies conducted in white adolescents; although this effect was stronger for Mexican-born than U.S.-born adolescents.

Based on their findings, Sargent believes that "parents of adolescents should limit the number of movies their children watch per week and avoid showing movies that depict cigarette smoking."

The message for the movie industry, according to Sargent: "Movies featuring smoking scenes should be rated R."

This NCI-supported study is part of a larger, population-based study to investigate smoking rates and risk among Mexican-American teens (recruited from a cohort jointly funded by the 1999 Master Tobacco Settlement and University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center). A companion paper, conducted by Wilkinson and colleagues, is also published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.


Contact: Tara Yates
American Association for Cancer Research

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Watching movies featuring characters who smoke negatively influences Mexican-American teens
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