Study Shows In-Classroom TV Ads Promote Tobacco Use Among Youth

The executive director of Commercial Alert, a group dedicated to protecting children from commercialism, says schools are unwittingly promoting tobacco use to millions of students.

Gary Ruskin says Channel One &#0151 an in-school television program promoted as news &#0151 is laden with commercials. He cites a recent study conducted by his organization which found that since January 2000, Channel One has advertised 67 commercial movies, 40 of which portray smoking. Ruskin has concerns about that &#0151 and so should parents, he says.

“What's very important about this is that these movie portrayals of smoking are the most powerful way to recruit new smokers of any other way,” he says. “They're actually even more powerful than tobacco advertising itself.”

According to Ruskin, nearly 400,000 teens start smoking every year. He says Channel One's airing of trailers for movies with smoking violates many state laws to require schools to teach about the dangerous health risks associated with smoking. Instead, he says, “what we have is in thousands of schools across the country, schools and Channel One are promoting smoking and tobacco to our children.” And the effect, he adds, is “absolutely devastating.”

Channel One claims to reach 30 percent of all American teenagers in nearly 11,500 middle and high schools across the U.S. Ruskin urges parents to find out if their school is airing Channel One and demand it be removed from classrooms. “Channel One should be expelled from every school in the country,” he says.

(This article courtesy of Agape Press.)

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