Durbin wants to curb youth smoking, asks Hollywood to reduce images

Kellogg, a clinical child's psychologist practicing in Carbondale, says there are decades of research supporting the fact that kid's are influenced by what they see on TV (Source: KFVS)
Kellogg, a clinical child's psychologist practicing in Carbondale, says there are decades of research supporting the fact that kid's are influenced by what they see on TV (Source: KFVS)

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Illinois Senator Dick Durbin wants Hollywood to help lower the number of young people who smoke.

In a letter to the Motion Picture Association of America, Senator Durbin is asking filmmakers to reduce images of smoking in movies for younger crowds.

Dr. Jeffrey Kellogg, a clinical child's psychologist practicing in Carbondale, says there are decades of research supporting the fact that kid's are influenced by what they see on TV, although some are affected more than others.

"Well television has a big impact on most of us," he said, "but I think with kids, there are certain kids who are more susceptible than others."

He also says the way in which most TV shows and movies depict the act of smoking changes the way children see this behavior.

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"There's sort of an attempt to make them look in a certain way," he said, "that they're cool; that they're with it; and that's going to have an influence what kids are perceiving and mimicking and looking up to as an adult behavior."

It's important to note that movies are only a part of the overall media that they consume on a daily basis. With smart phones, social media, video games, and all other sorts of information available over the internet, Dr. Kellogg says it's important to take all aspects into account when teaching kids not to smoke.

"Our kids are accessing media on many different levels on many different devices," he said, "It's a balancing act of how strong a family has values and how much they teach their values, how much they take away from school, and what they take away from a movie they watch on Friday night"

In his letter, Senator Durbin claims images of tobacco use in movies for young people have increased over the past two years.

However, according to the CDC, smoking rates among youth is declining.

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