class actions, disabled rights, copyright, attorneys general, online speech, law schools, obesity, New York, mortgages, legal blogs, safety, CPSC, pharmaceuticals, patent trolls, ADA filing mills, international human rights, humor, hate speech, illegal drugs, immigration law, cellphones, international law, real estate, bar associations, Environmental Protection Agency, First Amendment, insurance fraud, slip and fall, smoking bans, emergency medicine, regulation and its reform, dramshop statutes, hotels, web accessibility, United Nations, Alien Tort Claims Act, lobbyists, pools, school discipline, Voting Rights Act, legal services programs
   
   
 
   

FORUM

« ATLA blocking avian flu bill | Seven long-term Vioxx users to go to trial in New Jersey »

November 17, 2005


Free Will and the Movies

A study just released in the journal Pediatrics concludes that smoking in movies is a major "cause" of youth smoking, responsible for 38% of all youth smoking initiation in the United States. The conclusion is based on the results of a cross-sectional telephone survey of 6,522 adolescents ages 10-14 years old. Exposure to smoking in movies was assessed by ascertaining whether youth respondents had seen 50 random movies chosen from a list of 532 first-run movies. The association between smoking in movies and youth smoking status was then examined, controlling for a number of potential confounding variables (including parental and peer smoking). There was a clear dose-response relationship between the estimated exposure to smoking in movies and the odds of a respondent being a smoker. Based on this relationship, the paper concludes that seeing smoking in movies is responsible for 38% of smoking initiation in the United States.



Now, should this study be admitted in "evidence" in a tort suit against, say, MGM (assume away the huge question of MGM wrongdoing here, just to humor me...), that 38% of plaintiffs (say, a class of youth smokers) had their addiction to nicotine "proximately caused" by watching movies? Only if children and their parents are analogous to, say, puppies and their sires/dams, sez me. But, and you heard it here first, I here predict lawsuits aplenty based on the aforementioned article.

Posted by Michael Krauss at 10:30 AM | TrackBack (0)



categories:
Miscellaneous









 

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.