As if there were any doubt, the movies totally make smoking look sexy and cool. At least that’s what a new sutdy from The National Cancer Institute seems to suggest. According to Variety, the 684-page report reveals “the government’s strongest conclusion to date” that there’s a link between kids watching movies and lighting up. What brings the government to this conclusion? “1,000 scientific studies focusing on the media’s role in encouraging or discouraging tobacco use.” From Variety:
Report, titled "The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use," contains "definitive conclusions that a) tobacco advertising and promotion are causally related to increased tobacco use, and b) exposure to depictions of smoking in movies is causally related to youth smoking initiation," according to an NCI announcement.
Report describes cigarette smoking as "pervasive in movies, occurring in three-quarters or more of contemporary box office hits; identifiable cigarette brands appear in about one-third of movies."
On the bright side, for New York area youths at least, cigarettes here have become so expensive that it’s not unreasonable to presume they don’t fit into many teenagers’ budgets, unless of course they’re willing to go to extreme lengths like trekking out to a Long Island Indian reservation to score cheap packs en masse, like the author of this week’s cover story in the New York Press did. (“Two-hundred cigarettes had cost $37, or just $3.70 a pack.”) Or, for those truly bent on cultivating a nicotine habit, once they’re of age, there’s always snus.
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