Do you remember that time when you were an impressionable kid yourself? As a pre-teen or a teenager, you were in so much of a hurry to grow up that you think anything that adults do is cool. You try to grow up too fast and hate it when older people call you a kid. This could be the same feeling that your tween or teenage kid may have, and Hollywood flicks may just be the culprit.

How Hollywood may influence teenage kids to smoke

Based on a recently released study, kids who watch a lot of movies with characters who are smoking may just be influenced to take up smoking themselves. What if you’re the parent of a 17-year old boy who suddenly thinks that the habit is cool due to what he’s seen from smoking in movies? There are things that you can do to prevent this from happening in the first place, which we will learn more about in the next section.

Meanwhile, let us first take a look at some Hollywood flicks with onscreen smoking:

–          James Dean in “Giant”

–          John Travolta in “Saturday Night Fever”

–          Olivia Newton-John in “Grease”

–          Uma Thurman in “Pulp Fiction”

–          Renee Zelwegger in  “Bridget Jones Diary”

–          Christina Hendricks in “Drive”
As you can see, not all of these films are R-rated. Whether it’s a <a href=”http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20120709/pg-13-movie-smoking-prompts-teens-to-smoke“>PG-13</a> or R-rated flick, seeing smoking characters on screen may just influence your kids to take up on the bad habit themselves. The effect may be subconscious, but seeing an all-glammed up character smoking on the big screen adds up to that cool factor. The study has also shown that early exposure to smoking on screen may have a significant effect on kids to start smoking early.

 

What’s a frazzled parent to Do?

 

If you’re a frazzled parent who would not like your kid to take up that nasty smoking habit – especially if there are no smokers in your household – what are you supposed to do? First, it does pay to monitor the media content consumption of your child. Watch movies with them and discuss which character traits and good and which ones are bad. Second, limit your children’s exposure to R-rated movies. Kids whose parents restrict access to such movies are less likely to experiment with smoking.

 

More importantly, always have ‘the talk’ with your tween or teenage kids. As long as kids are made aware of the message that a movie is trying to send out, they can see the less glamorous aspect of tobacco use and just maybe steer clear of the nasty smoking habit even as they grow into full-fledged adults.