Increasing Young Adult Smoking Linked to Smoking in Movies


 New study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine


San Diego, October 2, 2007 – Do young adults learn behaviors from movies? In a paper published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, examined the relationship between young adults (age 18-25) observing smoking in movies and the likelihood of starting to smoke. They found that more exposure to smoking in movies was significantly associated with young adults beginning to smoke or becoming established smokers.

After falling for several decades, the incidence of smoking in movies started increasing around 1990 and, by 2000 was comparable to 1950 levels. Young adulthood is the time when most adolescent experimenters either transition to regular use or stop smoking. Young adults also compose the largest share of United States movie viewers, with 34% attending a film at least once a month.

Using random-digit telephone dialing to ensure a representative cross-section of 18-25 year olds, a national web-enabled survey of 1528 young adults was conducted between September and November 2005. This study investigated the hypothesis that exposure to smoking in movies is related to smoking in young adults.

Writing in the article, the authors from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, state, "This study is the first to demonstrate that smoking in movies is associated with smoking in young adults in a dose-dependent manner; the more a young adult is exposed to smoking in the movies, the more likely he/she will have smoked in the past 30 days or have become an established smoker." Stanton Glantz, the senior author, adds, "Our new study shows that the influence of movies promoting smoking extends well beyond adolescence into young adulthood."

The article is "Smoking in Movies and Increased Smoking Among Young Adults" by Anna V. Song, PhD, Pamela M. Ling, MD, MPH, Torsten B. Neilands, PhD, and Stanton A. Glantz, PhD. It appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 33, Issue 5 (November 2007) published by Elsevier.

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Full text of the article is available upon request; contact eAJPM@ucsd.edu to obtain copies. To request an interview with the authors, please contact Karen Williams at 415-476-4683, Karen.Williams@ucsf.edu.

About the American Journal of Preventive Medicine
The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is the official journal of The American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. It publishes articles in the areas of prevention research, teaching, practice and policy. Original research is published on interventions aimed at the prevention of chronic and acute disease and the promotion of individual and community health. The journal features papers that address the primary and secondary prevention of important clinical, behavioral and public health issues such as injury and violence, infectious disease, women's health, smoking, sedentary behaviors and physical activity, nutrition, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol and drug abuse. Papers also address educational initiatives aimed at improving the ability of health professionals to provide effective clinical prevention and public health services. The journal also publishes official policy statements from the two co-sponsoring organizations, health services research pertinent to prevention and public health, review articles, media reviews, and editorials.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is ranked 11th out of 98 Public, Environmental & Occupational Health titles and 16th out of 103 General and Internal Medicine titles according to the Thomson Scientific Institute for Scientific Information's 2006 Journal Citation Reports.


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