As a result of their findings, the authors of the new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, recommend that all movies that include smoking scenes be rated R. Time points to a statement made by physician James Sargent, the lead author of the study, and a professor of pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine. “The film industry has known about the relationship between smoking in movies and kids smoking for years and it still has not meaningfully incorporated smoking into its rating system. What we want them to do is give an unambiguous R rating for smoking.”
Also, according to the research, Time notes, eliminating smoking from films that are rated PG-13, would reduce the percentage of youths who try cigarettes by 18 percent.
Sargent, also the co-director of the Cancer Control Research Program at Norris Cotton Cancer Center, continued, “It’s a terrible thing when a kid starts smoking, and the idea that what they see in the movies can cause that and can be responsible for that is something we take very seriously for public health because smoking causes a lot of bad diseases in our population.”
During a two-year period, the researchers surveyed more than 6,500 children and teenagers—ranging in age from 10 to 14.
Read the full story, published 7/9/12 by Time.