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Study Finds Link Between Exposure to Smoking in Movies and Actual Smoking Behavior

A new study reveals watching smoking in movies during adolescence greatly increases the risk of becoming a smoker in later life. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Study Finds Link Between Exposure to Smoking in Movies and Actual Smoking Behavior

A new study reveals watching smoking in movies during adolescence greatly increases the risk of becoming a smoker in later life. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

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In the study, researchers at Dartmouth College followed up with teens as they became young adults. Teens who saw the most movies with smoking were twice as likely to become steady smokers as those who had the least exposure.

Dr. Stanton Glantz directs the UC San Francisco Center for Tobacco Control Research . He says movies have a powerful influence on kids' smoking habits.

"It's a very large effect," Glantz points out. "In fact, it's a better effect than the effect of peer smoking and of parents smoking, which most people think of as the most important effects."

The new study concludes about one-third of established smoking among young adults can be attributed to exposure to movie smoking.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.