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October 6, 1999

Tobacco and Alcohol Use in Children's Animated Films: Pecos Bill Kicks the Habit

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(13):1228-1229. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-13-jbk1006

To the Editor: As a lover of children's animated films, I was intrigued by the results of Dr Goldstein and colleagues' study1 of the use of tobacco and alcohol in children's animated films. Following the use of the Joe Camel character in advertising by the RJ Reynolds Tobacco Company, DiFranza et al2 showed that sales of Camel cigarettes to the underage market dramatically increased. In that study, children recognized the cartoon character more readily than did adults, associated it more easily with Camel cigarettes, and were more likely to think that Joe Camel was "cool." In another study children as young as 3 years old were not only able to recognize the character but to associate it with cigarettes.3

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