Media Literacy Goes a Long Way, Baby

A new study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine “provides some of the first quantitative evidence that training teens about the messages and motivations behind various types of media has the potential to reduce teen smoking,” the Pitt Chronicle reports. A young person’s ability to analyze tobacco ads had a stronger influence on whether or not they smoked, in some cases, than did socioeconomic status, stress, and even parental smoking. “Many of the other factors that influence smoking behaviors are things that we cannot control,” said the study’s lead author. “Media literacy is one of the few areas in which we can actively effect change.”

The ability to analyze tobacco ads may prevent teens from smoking.