Study: Kids Who Watch R-Rated Movies More Likely to Smoke

    Children whose parents allow them to watch R-rated movies are more likely to smoke later in life, according to new research from the University of Massachusetts.

    HealthDay News reported Feb. 23 that researchers followed 1,200 Massachusetts teenagers over four years, asking them questions about watching R-rated movies, their perceptions about the ease of obtaining cigarettes, and if smoking was allowed in their homes.

    The study showed that permission to watch R-rated movies is one of the strongest predictors of a child’s belief that it is easy to get cigarettes. “We do know that kids who believe it is easy to get a cigarette are at risk of smoking,” lead author Chyke Doubeni said. “Our prior research has already shown that kids who perceive cigarettes as readily accessible are more likely to end up as regular smokers.”

    However, Doubeni said researchers were not sure why there is a link between allowing kids to watch R-rated films and their attitudes toward smoking. “It may have to do with a parenting style that is permissive of activities that are not age-appropriate,” she said. “Or it may be an outcome of all the smoking scenes in R-rated movies.”

    The study was published in the Feb. 21, 2009 issue of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

    By Partnership Staff
    February 2009

    Published

    February 2009