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Addict Behav. 2013 Oct;38(10):2589-95. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2013.06.008. Epub 2013 Jun 14.

Smoking in European adolescents: relation between media influences, family affluence, and migration background.

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Institute for Therapy and Health Research, Harmsstr. 2, 24114 Kiel, Germany.


Seeing smoking depictions in movies has been identified as a determinant of smoking in adolescents. Little is known about how such media influences interact with other social risk factors. Differences in smoking rates in different socio-economic status groups might be explainable by differences in media exposure. There might also be differences in the average response to movie smoking exposure. We tested this hypothesis within a cross-national study conducted in six European countries. A total of 16,551 pupils from Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Scotland with a mean age of 13.4years (SD=1.18) were recruited from 114 state funded schools. Using previously validated methods, exposure to smoking depictions in movies was estimated for each student and related to ever smoking. The analysis was stratified by level of family affluence (low, medium, high) and migration history of parents (yes vs. no), controlling for a number of covariates like age, gender, school performance, television screen time, sensation seeking and rebelliousness and smoking within the social environment (peers, parents, siblings). We found a significant association for each category of family affluence and ethnicity between ever smoking and movie smoking exposure, also significant adjusted odds ratios for age, school performance, sensation seeking, peer smoking, mother smoking, and sibling smoking. This relationship between movie smoking and adolescent smoking was not moderated by family affluence or ethnicity. Although we used a very broad measure of economic status and migration history, the results suggest that the effects of exposure to movie smoking can be generalized to the population of youths across European countries.


Adolescence; Europe; Migration; Movies; Smoking; Socio-economic status

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