Smokefree Movies

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Internal tobacco industry documents show that tobacco companies often paid movie studios for product placement in films, but by the 1990s many in Hollywood said this practice had ended. We disagreed, and in 1997 launched our Hollywood on Tobacco HOT) project (funded by the then California Department of Health Services, Tobacco Control Section) to document if the practice was still occurring. We conducted an ethnographic study -- a study conducted from the point of view of people within the target culture -- which was one of the first projects on this subject to seek input directly from writers, actors, and directors. Key findings were presented in a peer-reviewed journal article "Hollywood on Tobacco: How the Entertainment Industry Understand Tobacco Portrayal" and a documentary which showed how the culture of the film industry affects the inclusion and portrayal of tobacco products in film and on television. Not surprisingly, everyone interviewed denied paid tobacco placement was still occurring and blamed someone else for smoking in films.

After HOT ended, Dr. Stanton Glantz began his Smokefree Movies campaign which seeks to achieve four key principles, including the establishment of an R rating for films that depict smoking - unless the smoking is by a historical character who smoked. There is a very large body of research that documents the influence of smoking in films on youth experimentation and uptake of smoking, the use of movies to glamorize and popularize smoking again, and influence of product placement on attitudes toward smoking and smokers. Several national and international organizations, including Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR), the American Public Health Association (APHA), and the World Health Organization (WHO) have endorsed the Smokefree Movies' principles. Has your organization or group endorsed these principles?

And the public supports the idea as well; 81% of U.S. adults agree that adolescents are more likely to smoke if they watch actors smoke in movies, and 70% support a new R-rating for any movies with on-screen tobacco imagery, unless the file clearly demonstrates the dangers of smoking.

Too bad Hollywood is still creating a smoke screen. While the Smokefree Movies campaign is making progress, we have yet to see the four principles adopted by the film making industry.

WHO: Movies With Smoking Scenes Should Be Rated 'R' - February 1, 2016

The World Health Organization is calling on governments to assign R ratings to movies that portray tobacco use. "Movies showing tobacco use have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking," said the latest edition of WHO's "Smoke-Free Movies Report," first issued in 2009.

Smoke-free movies: from evidence to action, third edition
World Health Organization (WHO) February 1, 2015

WHO releases the third edition of its Smoke-Free Movies report. This document summarizes current knowledge about smoking in films as well as current and proposed approaches to reduce the impact of such imagery. The reports aim is to help countries understand the basis for taking action to limit the depiction of smoking in films. This can help the Parties to the WHO FCTC in implementing specific recommendations on smoking in films in the Article 13 guidelines.

GLANTZ: New Smoke Free Movies ad: Half-way won't hack it
Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (UCSF) - January 19, 2016

This ad, commenting on the fact that smoking in movies is back down to historic lows, is running in Variety and Hollywood Reporter this week. It also makes the point that smoking is shifting to the Independents, which is another reason that individual

Disney bans smoking in films
Marvel, LucasFilm and Pixar films will no longer be allowed to depict smoking
The Telegraph - March 15, 2015

Disney has announced that it is banning smoking in all of its PG 13-rated future productions, including Marvel, LucasFilm and Pixar films. ... Asked by shareholder Stanton Glantz, a Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, whether Disney would be prepared to support a move to give an "R" rating (roughly equivalent to a UK 18 certificate) to all films depicting smoking, Iger said: "I think it would be a little bit presumptuous of me to commit to doing that today without getting a little bit more of a flavor or perspective on the dynamic that exists at the MPAA on the subject. ...

Disney CEO Robert Iger announces "ironclad" policy of no smoking in youth-rated Disney movies
Center for Tobacco Control Research & Education - March 13, 2015

Yesterday (March 12, 2015) Dr. Gina Intinarelli, a cardiothoracic nurse from UCSF and I attended the Walt Disney Corp. annual meeting. During the question and answer period, Gina told Disney CEO and Chairman of the Board Robert Iger of the thousands of patients with heart disease and cancer she had care for, that virtually all of these people started smoking as kids, and that the US Surgeon General had concluded that exposure to smoking onscreen caused kids to start smoking. She pointed out that nearly half of the Marvel movies (Disney owns Marvel) had contained smoking. She then asked Mr. Iger for if Disney would implement an “ironclad” policy of keeping smoking.

News | Related Research
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