Most Teens Have Seen Tobacco Use in TV Ads for Movies

Many have seen at least one trailer three times or more

TUESDAY, Sept. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all U.S. teenagers have seen a movie trailer on television depicting tobacco use, and most have seen at least one trailer three times or more, according to a study in the September issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Jane A. Allen, M.A., of the American Legacy Foundation in Washington, D.C., and colleagues assessed the proportion of 216 televised movie trailers that included images of tobacco use. They assessed the exposure of U.S. youth aged 12 to 17 years to the trailers using data from Nielsen Media Research.

The researchers found that 14.4 percent of the trailers depicted tobacco use, with 24 percent of restricted-rated movies and 7.5 percent of parental guidance-rated movies showing tobacco use. Nearly all of the teens (95 percent) had seen at least one trailer showing tobacco use, and 88.8 percent of these had seen at least one of these trailers a minimum of three times.

"Nearly all U.S. youth aged 12 to 17 years were exposed to images of tobacco use on television in the context of a movie trailer during the study period," Allen and colleagues conclude. "Given the relationship between youth exposure to tobacco use in movies and smoking initiation, the public health community should work to enact policy to reduce or eliminate the influence of tobacco use in televised movie trailers."

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