95th Oscars
March 9, 2023

2023 Oscar Nominees Rampant with Tobacco

Tobacco use depictions are rampant in the feature films nominated for this year’s 95th Academy Awards. Nine out of this year’s 10 films (90%) nominated for the Oscar for Best Picture included tobacco use, which is higher than last year (80%). When considering all 2023 Oscar-nominated feature films, 28 of the 39 films (72%) included tobacco imagery. What’s particularly concerning is that among the 39 Oscar nominated feature films, seven (18%) included tobacco imagery and were rated PG-13 (Elvis, Living, The Fablemans, Top Gun: Maverick, Women Talking, The Quiet Girl, and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery) and one, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, included tobacco and was rated PG (3%).

When we consider these Best Picture Nominees from previous years, most films from the past five years (2018-2022) also featured tobacco use. Furthermore, all films that won the Oscar for Best Picture from 2018 to 2022 featured tobacco use including CODA (2022), Nomadland (2021), Parasite (2020), Green Book (2019), and The Shape of Water (2018). Further, there were only a few Best Picture nominees from these years that did not feature tobacco use. These were Dune (2022 nominee), Belfast (2022 nominee), The Father (2021 nominee), and Black Panther (2019 nominee).

In collaboration with Truth Initiative, Breathe California coded all films referenced in this post. Our onscreen database provides tobacco use incidents in top-grossing films.

Truth Initiative has prepared the 2023 Action Kit to organize your events and keep the pressure on media companies in the week leading up to the Academy Awards ceremony on March 12, 2023. You can find the 2023 Action Kit with downloadable files from Truth Initiative here. You can also learn more about pervasive tobacco depictions in streaming content, top movies, and music videos popular among youth and young adults in Truth Initiative’s newly released While You Were Streaming Report (press release here).