Media - Children - Teenagers - Drugs
Differing from the traditional advertising, the depictions from the media regarding the legal drugs do not invite any criticism since they are regarded to be positive and not as an advert. The outcome portrays mixed messages to young people about these substances, significantly contributed by the media.
Alcohol and tobacco are drugs in America that pose a great danger to the children and teenagers even when the illegal drugs take a toll in the American society. The two legal drugs represent among the drugs that teenagers used as gateway drugs. For instance, a teenager at an adolescent stage who uses tobacco or alcohol has a higher percentage of about 65 percent to use marijuana than those who abstain from these legal drugs. It is evident that using these drugs at a younger age results into serious health problems. Several studies conducted found out that more Americans die from cigarette-related illness with more deaths attributed to excessive consumption of alcohol. Use of drugs at adolescent stages also results into risky behaviors such as involving in sexual activities.
[...] The number of Web sites advertise and sell tobacco products and majority of them have no effective procedures for age-verification. A national survey conducted on about 1000 young people between ages 14 to 20 years of age showed that a small percentage of about 2 percent reported having purchased alcohol online, and 12 percent of them reported having a friend who did so. Prescribed drugs are purchased online without any difficulty. Popular beer brands use advert games online to attract a younger audience. [...]
[...] Although, recent analyses show that there is a decrease in smoking in most movies, but the reflections remain high. A content analysis of the box-office movies between 1996 and 2004 shows that the use of tobacco was depicted in 75 percent of viewer rated movies and 90 percent of adult rated movies. Part of all group rated films animations between 1937 and 1997 has a reflection of tobacco use. Recent content analysis of top movies between the years 1991 and 2009 indicated the highest tobacco use in 2003 and has since declined by the year 2009. [...]
[...] More deaths have been reported because of tobacco use, approximated to be 1200 deaths per day, and half of these deaths are reported to be middle-aged adults. Statistics shows that, given the age gap of smoking habits, the tobacco industry seem to encourage recruitment of a smoking young people, and they have succeeded. Advertisement of cigarette has increased teenagers to risks of smoking by trying to glamorizing smoking and smokers. The contrast is that the adverse smoking consequences have been shown resulting into the US Surgeon General (1994) to conclude that the advertisement of cigarette has increases the risks of smoking to young people. [...]
[...] Smoking of cigarettes in the movies should be avoided. Typical example is a promise by Disney Film Company to eliminate smoking in its movies. Free smoking movie sets would end the portrayal of smoking inside the movies, and this would protect the actors from the third party smoking. In addition, alcohol use should not be portrayed as to be a normal activity to the teenagers. Since television has a huge adolescent viewer by numbers, it should be encouraged to advertise about the dangers of substances abuse. [...]
[...] (2000), Alcohol, Drugs and Tobacco in Entertainment Media. Kaiser Family Foundation. Menlo Park, CA. Mo Bahk C. (2001), Perceived realism and role attractiveness in movie portrayals of alcohol drinking. Am J Health Behavior. Kupersmidt, J. B. Scull, T. M. Austin, E. [...]
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