Where There's Smoke, There's ... DVD?18 Nov, 2005 By: Holly J. Wagner
Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran has mustered 31 other state attorneys general to ask the major studios to put anti-smoking public service announcements on all DVDs, videos and other home entertainment formats of movies in which smoking is depicted.
A study by the Dartmouth Medical School with National Cancer Institute funding published Nov. 7 found that adolescents with the greatest exposure to depictions of smoking in movies were almost three times more likely to try smoking than their peers in the least exposed group, even after controlling for other known smoking initiation factors.
The study, which appeared in the journal Pediatrics, is the first to measure the effects of viewing smoking in movies on a nationally representative sample of youth in the United States.
"This latest study reiterates what we have been telling the motion picture industry for two years, we need their help in protecting our children," Curran said.
Citing the scientific evidence that airing an anti-smoking PSA lessens the effects on youth from viewing movie smoking, Curran said studios "can dramatically increase the number of young people who will receive that anti-smoking message by attaching it to DVDs, UMDs and video in which smoking is depicted.