American Movies, Videos Influence Asian Youth Smoking Habits
American movies, videos and cigarette advertising influence the smoking behavior of teenagers in Asia, Professor Marvin Goldberg of Penn State's Smeal College of Business Administration said in a report following a just-completed speaking tour in Asia.
During the tour, Goldberg, a leading authority on the impact of media on the behavior of children and teenagers, discussed smoking patterns of teenagers in Hong Kong and Thailand, based upon studies he undertook in cooperation with local organizations.
In studies conducted in late-summer 1998 of the smoking behavior of more than 1,700 Hong Kong high school students, and more than 1,300 students, ages 14 to 17, drawn from Bangkok schools, Goldberg also determined Marlboro was the favored brand of these youngsters. The study in Thailand was conducted with the help of a local public interest group, Action on Smoking and Health, Thailand, and the study in Hong Kong with the help of the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health.
Both studies focused on the amount of smoking by teenagers in each community and the factors influencing their smoking patterns. In each city, the studies found, students who smoke are more likely than non-smokers to overestimate the number of their peers that smoke; to see more U.S.-made movies; and to recall U.S. cigarette advertising, said Goldberg, who was recently appointed interim dean of the Smeal College.
While the studies do not say there are causal relationships between these types of influences and behavior, there is an extensive network of factors that describe the teenager who smokes or does not smoke.