Drug use also represents one of many risky behaviors that occur during adolescence: teenagers who report that at least half of their friends are sexually active are 31 times more likely to drink, 5 times more likely to smoke, and 22 times more likely to try marijuana than are teenagers who do not report such a high prevalence of sexual activity among friends.
almost half of what the National Institutes of Health spends each year to study all aspects of health (gov/about/budget.htm).
Although parents, schools, and the federal government are trying to get children and teenagers to “just say no” to drugs, more than billion worth of cigarette, alcohol, and prescription drug advertising is effectively working to get them to “just say yes” to smoking, drinking, and other drugs.
Unlike tobacco advertising, alcohol advertising faces few restrictions.For example, whereas the tobacco industry gave up television advertising in the 1960s, beer, wine, and liquor ads are frequently featured on prime-time television, and young people view 1000 to 2000 alcohol ads annually.An analysis revealed that drugs were present in nearly half of 359 music videos—alcohol in 35%, tobacco in 10%, and illicit drugs in 13%.More than one-third of the drinking scenes are humorous, and negative consequences are shown in only 23%.As a result, the US Surgeon General concluded in 1994 that cigarette advertising increases young people's risk of smoking.
Numerous studies have revealed that children or teenagers who pay closer attention to cigarette ads, who are able to recall such ads more easily, or who own promotional items are more likely to become smokers themselves.
Although the most recent content analysis of top-grossing movies between 19 showed that tobacco use peaked in 2003 and has since declined, in 2009, more than half of PG-13 movies still contained tobacco use.
A study of 735 12- to 14-year-olds, with a 2-year follow-up, revealed that exposure to R-rated movies or having a television in the bedroom significantly increased the risk of smoking initiation for white teenagers.
The tobacco industry (often referred to as “Big Tobacco”) has engaged in a systematic campaign to attract underage smokers for decades and then lied to Congress about it.
Given the demographics of smoking (1200 deaths per day, half of which are of middle-aged adults; 50% of smokers begin by 13 years of age, and 90% of smokers begin by 19 years of age), the industry must recruit young people as smokers.
The causes of adolescent substance use are multifactorial, but the media can play a key role.