I will admit that I started smoking when I was a teenager (planning to quit this month -- yay!), but the urge to take up a new hobby had absolutely nothing to do with an R-rated film. Same goes for friends of mine that smoke; last time I checked, their habit did not begin after a screening of Die Hard. However, a new study apparently shows that white teens who are exposed to R-rated films are seven times more likely to start smoking compared to those teens whose parents refuse to expose their kids to content above a PG-13 rating.
This was not the case with black youths, as the study showed no similar impact. Their reasoning is that since the majority of films feature white actors, white teens are automatically drawn to those actions of a similar race. Wait, this is my favorite part from the article: "Even after taking into account such things as having a friend who smoked, lack of parental guidance or doing poorly in school, those who watched more R-rated movies were still three times more likely to start smoking, the study found." That's wonderful ... now when do we get to call bulls*it? Somehow I cannot believe that's an accurate statistic; you're telling me a teenager whose friends all smoke is more likely to pick up the nasty habit after watching Jay and Silent Bob Strikes Back?