Study examines links between movie smoking, team sport participation and youth smoking.

As reported in the July 2009 issue of Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, we examined the joint effects of movie smoking exposure and team sports participation on established smoking. We analyzed data from school and telephone-based surveys that assessed movie smoking exposure and team sports participation in 2,048 youths aged 16-21 years.

We found two key points: team sports participation lowers the risk of youth smoking. However, the more movie smoking that team sports players see, the greater the likelihood that they will be smokers.

This study adds to the mounting evidence that explicit policies are needed to minimize youth exposure to movie smoking.

What can parents do?

  • Monitor what movies your child watches.
  • Restrict R-rated movies.
  • Use online tools designed for parents, including and, to be informed about the amount of smoking in a specific movie.

Parents, teachers, coaches, and clinicians should be aware that encouraging team sports participation in tandem with minimizing early exposure to movie smoking may offer the greatest likelihood of preventing youth smoking.

Lead author Anna Adachi-Mejia, Ph.D.

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