Do kids retain more by reading e-books or paper books?—and—how smoking on TV affects smoking in real life. Show Notes

Friday, May 09, 2014 Host(s): Dr. Bill Maier
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Are electronic books as good as the real thing? Not when it comes to kids reading and retaining information.  

According to PluggedIn.com, a new study by the Pew Research Center and the UK’s National Literacy Trust suggests that kids who use e-books instead of those made of paper end up with poorer reading skills.

And a separate, ongoing study by West Chester University of Pennsylvania backs those conclusions up. 

Researchers there have been comparing the reading habits of grade-schoolers who use e-books vs. print.

They've found that e-books can result in lower reading comprehension because kids tend to skip whole pages? Why? They’re looking for noise-making character illustrations, interactive passages and other distractions that are contained in many e-books for kids.

And when you’re kids aren’t reading, are they watching TV? If so, what are they learning when they observe a character SMOKE in a television series?

Researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center analyzed television shows aired over the last 55 years, and they calculated how often people smoked on the tube.

Interestingly, they found that the percentage of characters smoking on TV corresponded with real-life smoking habits among adults.

In fact, each time a cigarette showed up in a primetime hour of television, real-life smokers consumed about two more packs of cigarettes a year.

So what causes this to happen? Researchers think that seeing people smoke on television might be an unhealthy trigger for long-time smokers who have recently quit.

BTW, if you or someone you know is having difficulty kicking the smoking habit, a great place to go for help is smokefree.gov.

I’m Bill Maier for WBCL.
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