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C. Sending Out the Wrong Smoke Signals

Narrator: This is Science Today. Cigar smoking has almost doubled over the last decade. Lisa Bero, a researcher at the University of California, San Francisco says the media are playing a big part in the upward trend.

Bero: In this particular study, we've looked at only newspaper articles so far. We looked at who's quoted in the articles, who talks at all in the articles and we have celebrities and we have a lot of people from the cigar industry. But less than a third of the articles mention anyone from the public health community so that view of cigars isn't getting out in these lay press articles.

Narrator: Since young people are the one growing group of tobacco users in this country, Bero says cigar smoking health hazards, such as cancer and heart disease, should be included in these articles.

Bero: And the other big health effect is the passive smoking effects, because the toxic substances in cigar smoke are actually greater than in cigarette smoke. And that hasn't cropped up in any of the sample of articles that we've looked at so far.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.