Makers of e-cigarettes getting around the law

A troubling if thought-provoking article about how companies making e-cigarettes seem to be working to get around federal legislation banning advertising of cigarettes to minors. At issue here is the making and marketing of candy-flavored cigarettes, a relatively new product that, according to many concerned parties, can play a crucial role in hooking kids on nicotine from a very early age. Continue reading

Alcohol is too often shown in a humorous light

A terse and simple article that makes the point well about how much of a negative effect mainstream media immersion has on kids in terms of alcohol consumption. Citing many troubling statistics including the massive amount of money spent annually by alcohol-selling companies on advertising, the fact that about 50% of the presentations of alcohol consumption in mainstream media show it in a humorous light, and only about 23% show a downside, the article makes some very well-known points about the causative connection of media imagery to kids being influenced to drink. Continue reading

FDA tries fighting fire with fire

A longish article of an interview of and FDA official about a new campaign being launched by the FDA to dissuade kids from smoking. Like many behaviors glamorized or encouraged by the media, such drinking alcohol, taking drugs, having sex indiscriminately, or overeating, cigarette smoking remains a serious problem for America’s youth. Despite massive government efforts via fining the tobacco industry, banning TV ads of cigarette products, etc, the problem is not going away. Continue reading

Social media amplifies peer pressure

An alarming article in the popular press that describes a scholarly article just being published in regard to the effects of Facebook and other social media sites on adolescents’s drinking and smoking use. Continue reading

Social media can be a major source of peer pressure

A recent study done by social scientists at USC shows how clearly kids are impacted by involvement with social media engines like Facebook and MySpace. Essentially we are dealing with peer pressure to an exponential power. Continue reading

Social media is magnifying the impact of peer pressure

A valuable article for parents, educators and any who work with children. It is already known that kids often view films and TV shows in which fictional characters, often played by actors and actresses whom they admire, get drunk or take drugs in ways that glamorize the drug and alcohol use. The characters act goofy, blase, uninhibited, in ways that appeal to the child and so serve as encouragement in this direction. There are multiple studies that support this trend in kids. Continue reading

Glamorous alcohol

A worthwhile article about the problematic impact of the glamorization of alcohol consumption in movies on adolescent alcohol use. The article traces the history of how, after the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement enforced by State Attorneys General around the nation, tobacco companies could no longer pay filmmakers serious money to place their products in films, tobacco placement dropped by 7% a year. Continue reading

Addicted to technology

A sobering article about a UK psychologist working with children and adolescents who are “hooked on” media machines. Though the article is a bit cursory in terms of his definitions of media or internet addiction (see my articles in Psychology Today about the subject of internet addiction for more details), he has a very interesting way of treating the condition. Continue reading

Is alcohol advertising aimed at teenagers?

A thorough and valuable article that not only underscores the fact that advertisers, almost certainly intentionally, target 10 to 15 year-olds in the UK, and for that matter the US, at an importance audience for alcohol products, but also outlines how difficult it is to change in a positive direction the habits of the advertising arms of alcohol producing companies through the passage of laws. Continue reading

Media cliches portray teen drinking as humorous

An article that makes many crucial points. The major one is that getting drunk for the teen is a cliche in movies and TV shows that are popular with teens. The idea is that getting drunk is a lark and has few serious consequences. Even a hang-over in these kids of media presentations is a reason to laugh. Many movies and TV shows rely on this cliche to deliver laughs to the audience over the outlandish behavior of the drunken goofy guy or girl. Continue reading