Exposure to Movies, Team Sports and Smoking

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Smoking is really a big issue among teenagers these days. A lot of kids feel that they can be cool and “astig” if they smoke. When I was in High School, some of my peers started experimenting with cigarettes. Perhaps they saw their fathers or some of their siblings smoking, they got curious then started smoking, too.

If there is one vice that brings nothing but woe to its user, it is smoking. Imagine, you are actually using your own money for something that burns you, literally. Apart from the seeming psychological benefit, smoking does not bring anything else but sickness to the smoker and to the people who will be unfortunate enough to inhale second-hand smoke.

Thankfully for teenagers, team sports can help teenagers avoid smoking. By becoming active team sports participants, teenagers can avoid the urge to smoke. If these same kids get exposed to too much movies, though, the positive aspects of involvement in team sports can be undermined.

In an article at Forbes.com, a study confirmed that too much exposure to movies presenting smoking as cool can be detrimental to teenagers, in terms of their choices to smoke or not.

The article says:

“Team sports is clearly protective to prevent youth from smoking,” said lead researcher Anna M. Adachi-Mejia, a research assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the Hood Center for Children and Families, at Dartmouth Medical School in Lebanon, N.H.

But movies can undo that positive effect, Adachi-Mejia said. “Parents need to be aware of the need to minimize their child’s exposure to movie smoking,” she said. “So even if their child plays sports, that’s not enough.”

Adachi-Mejia noted that parents can go to Web sites to check out whether a movie has smoking scenes or not. In addition, ratings are a good way to choose films that are appropriate for children, she added.

The report is published in the July issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Read the Forbes article here.

It makes sense therefore for teens to wisely choose the movies they should watch. The study, however, was conducted in the United States and might not be entirely applicable to the Philippine setting.

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