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On-screen smoking taking toll on teens: experts

New Delhi: Actors Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan may not find anything wrong in smoking on screen but experts feel their behaviour inspires teens and adolescents to take up the habit.

Supporting Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss’s advise to the film industry to restrain from smoking on screen, doctors opine that the country needs to discourage the “glamourisation of smoking.”

According to a WHO study, three out of four films produced by Bollywood showed their characters smoking. Teenagers who watch their heroes smoke are three times as likely to do so themselves.

“Majority of teenagers get attracted to smoking while trying to imitate their role models and heroes. Taking to smoking in teenage can cause hyper anxiety, academic error, week concentration and also work as a ‘gateway drug’ to other hardcore drugs,” said psychiatrist Samir Parikh.

A senior consultant psychiatrist in the AIIMS, Rajesh Sagar, said: “Our young generation draws a lot of inspiration from film stars, sportsmen and other celebrities whom they consider as their ideals. They start smoking just out of fascination but get habitual of it gradually.” — PTI

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