New research by Dr. Adam Goldstein of the North Carolina School of Medicine shows that some of our favorite movie characters smoke and drink.
The behavior is evident in many recognizable movies, according to Dr. Goldstein. "Certainly the older films that a lot of us are familiar with: Pinocchio, Sleeping Beauty, Alice In Wonderland. But also the newer films: Anastasia, James and the Giant Peach, All Dogs Go To Heaven."
Goldstein analyzed 50 films released by Disney and four other major companies between 1937 and 1997. Out of the 50 films, 34 showed at least one episode of smoking or drinking. Twenty-eight of the films showed characters smoking, including all seven released in 1996 and 1997. Twenty-five of them showed characters drinking.
Walt Disney Studios, which produced most of the movies in the study, told CBS News their position is that "smoking and drinking should not be shown in a positive light where young viewers are concerned."
But Dr. Goldstein's research didn't support Disney's claim.
"We found it was more good characters using tobacco," said Dr. Goldstein. "And more good characters were using alcohol than bad characters."
Many in public health say what children are watching might be worth a second look, providing valuable insight into where attitudes towards smoking and drinking get their start.
Dr. Goldstein presented his report Thursday at a conference on the media's impact on our health.