Something about this report finding makes sense, yes?
R-rated means there are some serious, adult themes in a movie. Adults do things like smoke cigarettes. Kid watches enough of that, thinks he can/should too. That's the simple version.
Another perspective put forth by the Substance Abuse Policy Research Program and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine study (which announced the kids-cigarette-movie connection) is, "it may have to do with a parenting style that is permissive of activities that are not age-appropriate."
In other words, parents who let their kids watch R-rated flicks might let their kids do other grown-up stuff too. The researchers found that parental permission to watch R-rated movies was, among kids, one of the strongest predictors of the perception that cigarettes are available, about as strong as having friends that smoked.
Of course, not every child who watches r-rated movies will smoke. But this report suggests there's a good chance they will.
Do your kids watch R-rated movies? Do you think there may be a connection between those movies and underage smoking?