(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- Kids who are allowed to watch R-rated movies are
more likely to smoke, according to a new study.
Children who watch these mature movies were more likely to believe that it's
easy to get cigarettes, an attitude that has been linked to smoking in previous
studies. Researchers said they're not sure if permissive parental attitudes or
exposure to smoking scenes in R-rated movies is to blame for the kids' views.
For four years, more than 1,200 sixth-grade students in Massachusetts were
interviewed 11 times about a variety of subjects, including obtaining
cigarettes, the number of smokers in their own home and how often they were
allowed to watch R-rated movies or videos.
The researchers found that parental permission to watch R-rated movies was one
of the strongest predictors of the perception that cigarettes are available,
about as strong as having friends that smoked.
Also, if children were allowed to watch R-rated movies, nonsmokers were almost
twice as likely and smokers were almost three times as likely to say it would be
easy for them to get cigarettes.
"Parents need to be mindful about the movies their children watch for a variety
of reasons. This study points out one more reason for not allowing children to
watch movies that are not appropriate for their age," study co-author Joseph
DiFranza of the University of Massachusetts Medical School was quoted as saying.
SOURCE: American Journal of Preventative Medicine, February 21, 2009