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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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January 17th, 2014
06:38 PM ET

Surgeon general: 'Sex and the City,' movies that glamorize lighting up play a factor in rise in smoking

(CNN) - A new report is asking Hollywood to put down the cigarette, at least for the characters in their films and TV shows.

According to the surgeon general's report, more than 2 million people under 25 were smoking in 2012, up from 1.9 million ten years earlier. Why the jump for kids when overall smoking is on the decline? Maybe because Hollywood is still making it look just so cool.

The report says that young people are being exposed to 14.9 billion tobacco impressions in youth-rated films.

In a New York focus group a few years ago, the city health commissioner found that Carrie Bradshaw's penchant for cigarettes in "Sex and the City" was keeping the habit en vogue among white women.

Is Hollywood to blame for kids lighting up?

"Yes, it plays a big role," says acting United States Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak.

Lushniak said the report found a causal relationship between the exposure to seeing images of stars smoking in films and TV shows, and the initiation of smoking.

"The office of the Surgeon General, the Department of Health and Human Services really thinks that the answer to our tobacco epidemic is reaching out to multiple partners, and that includes the film industry and the entertainment industry," said Lushniak.

For more of our interview with Surgeon General Dr. Boris Lushniak, check out the video above.

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