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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

South Carolina: Researchers Examine How Exposure to Tobacco in Video Games Influences Smoking Among Gamers in Argentina

A study conducted by researchers from the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, Sammuel Merritt University, University of California, Dartmouth University, University of Buenos Aires, and the Center for the Study of the State and Society has investigated exposure to tobacco in video games and smoking among gamers in Argentina. They published their findings in Tobacco Control.

With this study, the researchers aimed to assess whether exposure to tobacco in video games was associated with smoking among adolescent gamers in Argentina. They analyzed cross-sectional data from more than 3,000 students in public and private middle schools. Tobacco content in video games was estimated using previously validated methods, and exposure was assessed by multiplying tobacco content in the top three video games they play by the hours played per day.

Among the participants, 92 percent of boys and 56 percent of the girls played video games and were included in the study sample. The authors found that the prevalence of smoking was 13.8 percent among boys and 22.0 percent among girls with a significant association between high exposure to tobacco content in video games and current smoking among girls. They concluded that greater exposure to tobacco content in video games was associated with higher likelihood of smoking among Argentine girls who play video games and recommend that policies limit these exposures. These findings are particularly relevant because the majority of kids now use video games on a regular basis.

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