From 2000 to 2002, researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center examined attitudes toward tobacco and alcohol products in very young children and their relationship to parental attitudes and behavior toward the same products.
In the study, researchers asked 120 children aged two to six to pretend they were one of four dolls inviting a friend—another doll—over to watch a movie and have something to eat. To get provisions for the friend's visit, the child also 'drove' the doll to the store, which was set up like a grocery store with shelves, refrigerator cases and a checkout counter, where the child could select from a variety of miniature products, including foods, drinks, alcoholic beverages (beer and wine) and cigarettes.
An article on the study was published by the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine (September 2005). It reported the following findings: