Teenagers who regularly use a PC at home are less likely to take up smoking than their non PC-proficient counterparts, according to research commissioned by computer manufacturer Time.

The Future Foundation Research Company, which conducted the survey on behalf of Time, found that 78 percent of the teenagers questioned had never smoked. The survey asked 100 teenagers who used a computer at home every day about their social habits.

Time could offer PC Advisor little more information about the survey. But it is using the research on its latest press release, linking positive health benefits to computer use.

"This is a very tenuous link," said an NSPCC spokesperson. "It's like saying all children who watch TV don't commit crime, just because the equation fits a handful."

The NSPCC has been the first to stand up about the benefits of PCs for children on an educational basis.

"We do not think this is really a link," said the NSPCC spokesperson. "There is not enough evidence to prove such research, it's ridiculous."