“Because we have banned tobacco advertisement, promotion and sponsorship, the tobacco industry may hide behind the movie industry, brand or social media influencers to indirectly advertise or promote their products. So we expect that anti-tobacco messages are run in movies that depict scenery of tobacco use to also inform or educate the viewers on the harmful effects of tobacco use,” [FDA official Olivia Agyekumwaa Boateng] added.
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Researchers from US-based Vital Strategies and Imperial College, London, analysed 300 films from 1994 to 2013, and found that 93% of them had at least one depiction of booze usage, 70% had at least one of tobacco, and 21% of branded fast food. The average movie featured tobacco products four times, alcohol seven times, and the third of those bad habits a little less than half a time.
Hindi film industry (Bollywood), in the last two decades, has exposed audience including children to tobacco, alcohol and consumption of fast-food in its films, watching which is associated with initiation of their consumption, a research published in scientific journal PLOS One has stated. The research comes at a time when covid-19 pandemic has led to a surge in media consumption as people sit home and spend more time on their screens for entertainment and games.
The Sunday Mail (Australia)
…And there are calls from Quit Victoria to give movies and TV shows depicting smoking higher classifications and include clear, upfront warnings.
A study in India of tobacco content in streaming content popular with urban adolescents and young adults (15-24) found that seven in ten of the video series featured smoking. Four of the seven series with smoking showcased actual tobacco brands, including Camel, Salem, Newport and Marlboro. None of the series with smoking (including from Netflix and Amazon) comply with India's rules requiring health warnings and other protective measures. Peer-reviewed abstract of original research at https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2020/03/09/tobaccocontrol-2019-055360.full.
We also saw streaming of non-linear content increase across all age groups in Nielsen’s 56 largest metered markets during March 2020. With most schools closed across the country, younger demographics experienced the largest growth, with more than 60% increases between the weeks of March 2 and March 23 across all markets. Among persons 2+ streaming increased 57% in Local People Meter (LPM) markets and 46% in Set-Meter markets. And persons 25-54 showed similar gains.
We traced Morley back to some of its earliest appearances in Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" and "The Twilight Zone," to "The X-Files," "Friends," and even a 2020 episode of "Curb Your Enthusiasm." We also spoke to a film professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television to see why the popular fake brand is so significant in the history of entertainment. [Editor's note: This report says that a study found that villains do most of the smoking on screen. The only peer-reviewed study we know of, on this question, found that good guy smokers outnumber bad guy smokers, but that bad guy smokers are somewhat more influential on teens — so, overall, good guys and bad guy smokers account for equal harm. See: Tanski SE, Stoolmiller M, Dal Cin S, Worth K. Movie character smoking and adolescent smoking: Who matters more, good guys or bad guys? Pediatrics. 2009;124(1): 135–143. July 2009.
Stronger enforcement needed, while WHO guidelines should be updated, say researchers.
[The authors] found that, in every aspect studied, the influence of tobacco and alcohol advertising on teens were analogous. For instance, both tobacco and alcohol companies have used mascots in advertisements (e.g., Joe Camel, the Budweiser frogs), which research shows are easily recognized and trusted by children. In addition, both tobacco and alcohol companies use or have used movies, television, and sporting events as opportunities for advertising and product placement, with studies showing that exposure to smoking and drinking increases the risk for youth initiation.
Islamabad:The Directorate of Tobacco Control of the Ministry of National Health Services has directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to instruct all television channels to immediately cleanse their dramas and programmes of smoking scenes that lure young people towards tobacco use, and to instead consider telecasting public service messages against smoking, which kills 166,000 people in Pakistan each year. [Note: Pakistan, a party to WHO's binding global tobacco control treaty, joins China, India and others opposing youth exposure to tobacco promotion in commercial entertainment media.]
[R]esearcher Robert Marich said in an interview with CNBC's "American Greed." "It … depends on the stomach of the voters to essentially subsidize an industry and lower taxes for a certain select industry, which means essentially raising taxes for everyone else."
…the e-cigarette industry knows that 50 years of proving smoking causes cancer means little to an 18-year-old who doesn’t know what Vietnam was. Not to mention that smoking in movies — a topic I worked on with Vice President Gore in the ’90s — has actually gotten worse since then.
The New York Times
Tide Pod shout-outs onscreen. Flirtatious exchanges with companies on Twitter. Netflix may not run ads, but it has become a coveted marketing platform. [See Smokefree Movies' blog on cigarette brand display in Netflix' TV-14 "Stranger Things" fantasy series, at https://smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/blog/its-time-get-tobacco-brands-screen and our detailed September 2019 ad at https://smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/sfm-ads/ad-131. — Editor]
Los Angeles Times
After admitting to chain-smoking, ['Joker' director Todd] Phillips noted that his nicotine habit paled in comparison to that of [Joaquin] Phoenix, who “smokes more than Humphrey Bogart.” “I used to Juul, and I had to stop Juul-ing before I directed because I knew I wouldn’t stop,” interjected [director Greta] Gerwig, referring to the vape device. “I knew I’d be talking to an actor and Juul-ing the whole time.”
BU News Service
Despite the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in movies and the initiation of smoking among young persons, on-screen smoking in movies is still increasing.
One of the CDC recommendations is giving movies with tobacco incidents an R rating to eliminate tobacco product imagery from youth-rated films.
China has vowed to clamp down on films and TV series that have 'too many' smoking scenes in a bid to keep its youngsters away from cigarettes. The country's central government has ordered its entertainment censors to increase its screening efforts on productions that show their characters puffing away. SFM note: The Nov. 7. 2019, policy interpretation breaks no new ground in discouraging on-screen smoking. What's new is that it positions smokefree media as part of China's major multi-sectoral, teen-centered tobacco control initiative. For an initial translation, see: http://bit.ly/chinapolicy-110719
This is a hugely discouraging finding. As the CDC researchers point out, research has shown that the more often young people are exposed to onscreen images of smoking, the greater the likelihood they will take up smoking themselves.
Despite a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in movies and initiation, smoking in film is steadily increasing...
A new government study reveals tobacco use in PG-13 movies has increased 120% over the past decade. The large majority of those scenes were in biographical dramas, but most characters who actually used tobacco were fictional. The Surgeon General has said watching smoking in movies may lead youth to begin smoking themselves.
The number of times tobacco use appeared on-screen in PG-13 films jumped 120% between 2010 and 2018, according to a new US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report. The findings come as skyrocketing e-cigarette use erased previous years' progress in ending youth dependence on tobacco.
US News & World Report
The new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that while the share of top movies that showed tobacco product use remained level in recent years, there was a 57% increase in "tobacco incidents" in those films, driven largely by a 120% spike in PG-13 movies.
US News & World Report
Trends like these are important, Tynan and colleagues said, because "the Surgeon General has concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in movies and initiation of smoking among young persons."
The CDC says that while the percentage of films that show or imply tobacco use has been stable since 2010, the number of “tobacco incidents” in top-grossing movies is up 57 percent overall and 120 percent in PG-13 movies, especially biographical dramas.
“This new study should put to rest any notion that motion picture tax incentives may work in some states but not others,” said lead study author Michael Thom, a USC associate professor. “The states investing the most in incentives are not getting the return on investment taxpayers deserve, pure and simple. These incentives cost taxpayers billions of dollars, at a time when that money could be directed to other much needed public services.”
PNC News First
Attorney General Leevin Camacho said that after the master settlement agreement with tobacco, they realized that the reason a lot of young people are smoking is because they imitate what they see in movies and TV.
...Rosenberg says it's perhaps disingenuous for filmmakers or studios to argue, as Netflix does today, that smoking onscreen is an artistic expression when much of it, historically, came out of marketing departments — product placement ... Glantz worries that kind of product placement might happen again with weed, once it becomes widely commercialized.
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent letters to leading U.S. streaming services, encouraging the industry to adopt business practices that protect young viewers from tobacco imagery in video content. Letters were sent to Amazon.com, Apple, AT&T, CBS Corporation, Comcast Corporation, Discovery, The Walt Disney Company, Google, Netflix, Sony, Lionsgate, Viacom, and Walmart.
Forty-three of the nation’s attorneys general are asking the streaming industry to limit depictions of tobacco use in their videos.
CA Dept of Justice
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson today led a bipartisan coalition of 43 attorneys general in urging the streaming industry to limit tobacco use in their video content. Due to the growing use of tobacco products amongst teens, the attorneys general urge the streaming industry to take proactive steps to protect the lives of young viewers.