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Media-savvy teens less likely to smoke

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 9 (UPI) -- Teens who are savvier about the motives and methods of advertisers may be less inclined to smoke cigarettes, finds a U.S. study.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine say thousands of adolescents each day are lured to smoking cigarettes by advertisements and movies that feature sophisticated models and actors, suggesting that smoking is a glamorous, grown-up activity.

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"Many factors that influence a teen's decision to smoke -- like peer influence, parental smoking and risk-seeking tendency -- are difficult to change," said the study's lead author, Dr. Brian Primack. "However, media literacy, which can be taught, may be a valuable tool in efforts to discourage teens from smoking."

Teens with above-average smoking media literacy are nearly half as likely to smoke as their less media-literate peers, according to the study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

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