Psychological Reports

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Psychological Reports, 2007, 100, 3-18. © Psychological Reports 2007

CAN CIGARETTE WARNINGS COUNTERBALANCE
EFFECTS OF SMOKING SCENES IN MOVIES?’

ISABELLE GOLMIER                                   JEAN-CHARLES CHEBAT

National Bank of Canada                                 HEC-Montreal School of Management

Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales de Montreal

CLAIRE GELINAS-CHEBAT

Department of Linguistics

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Universitc> du Que’hec a Montrc’al

Summary. Scenes in movies where smoking occurs have been empirically shown to influence teenagers to smoke cigarettes. The capacity of a Canadian warning label on cigarette packages to decrease the effects of smoking scenes in popular movies has been investigated. A 2 x 3 factorial design was used to test the effects of the same movie scene with or without electronic manipulation of all elements related to smok­ing, and cigarette pack warnings, i.e., no warning, text-only warning, and text +pic­ture warning. Smoking-related stereotypes and intent to smoke of teenagers were mea­sured. It was found that, in the absence of warning, and in the presence of smoking scenes, teenagers showed positive smoking-related stereotypes. However, these effects were not observed if the teenagers were first exposed to a picture and text warning. Also, smoking-related stereotypes mediated the relationship of the combined presenta­tion of a text and picture warning and a smoking scene on teenagers’ intent to smoke. Effectiveness of Canadian warning labels to prevent or to decrease cigarette smoking among teenagers is discussed, and areas of research are proposed.

The problem of teenager consumption of tobacco is serious. Approxi­mately 22% of Canadian teenagers between 15 and 19 years currently smoke cigarettes (Health Canada, 2003). Sociodemographic analyses indicated that they are more likely to be found in the lower income and lower education segment of the Canadian population (Health Canada, 1995, 1999), as is also the case in other countries (Goldberg, Kindra, Lefebvre, Liefeld, Madill-Marshall, Martoharadjono, & Vredenburg, 1995; Blum, Beuhring, Shew, Bearinger, Sieving, & Resnick, 2000). In Canada, warning labels on cigarette packages have been conceived as one of the key strategies to prevent teenag­ers from smoking.

In 2000, the Canadian government adopted one of the world’s toughest laws for cigarette warnings (Health Canada, 2004). Each warning label coy-

‘Address correspondence to Jean-Charles Chebat, Chair of Commercial Space and Customer Service Management Holder, HEC-Montreal School of Management, 3000 Cote-Sainte-Cathe­rine Local 4.348, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 11.3T 2A7 or e-mail ( Jean-Ch.arles.Chebat@hec. ca), The first and third authors gratefully acknowledge a research grant they received from the Quebec Council of Social Research (CQRSC).

DOT 10.2466/P80.100.1.3-18

Influence of Motion Picture Rating on AdolescentResponse to Movie Smoking
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