Smoking in Movies Increases Smoking Risk for Young Teens

Early exposure to smoking in movies accounts for 31.6 percent of established smoking

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to smoking in movies in early adolescence is associated with established smoking among adolescents, according to a review published online March 14 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

To investigate whether exposure to smoking in movies during early and late adolescence contributes to established smoking, Brian A. Primack, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and colleagues surveyed 2,049 nonsmoking students at baseline (age 10 to 14 years) and seven years later.

The researchers found that 17.3 percent of the students progressed to established smoking. Compared with those in the lowest quartile (Q1), students in the highest quartile (Q4) for early exposure had a 73 percent increased risk of established smoking, after controlling for covariates, including early and late exposure in the same model (27.8 versus 8.6 percent; Q4 versus Q1 relative risk [RR], 1.73; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.14 to 2.62). For late exposure, the association with established smoking was not statistically significant (22.1 versus 14.0 percent; Q4 versus Q1 RR, 1.13; 95 percent CI, 0.89 to 1.44). Early exposure to smoking in movies accounted for 31.6 percent of established smoking, and an additional 5.3 percent was attributable to late exposure.

"These findings suggest that prevention efforts should focus on the reduction of exposure to smoking depicted in movies when children are at a young age," the authors write.

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