The campaigners want the communications regulator, Ofcom, and the British Board of Film Classification to monitor youth exposure to depictions of tobacco use on screen, to discourage any depictions of tobacco use and require broadcasters or cinemas to run anti-smoking adverts during presentations that feature smoking.
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Among TV shows popular with teens and young adults, Netflix had the most portrayals of tobacco use.
New Zealand Herald
Regardless of why the characters are seen smoking, it's striking that many of the shows included in the study, such as Stranger Things and Fuller House, are aimed at children. We also know that the normalisation of tobacco use in movies does have a strong impact on a child's risk of future tobacco use," David Hill, chairman for the American Academy of Pediatrics' Council on Communications and Media told US News and World Report.
The Washington Post
The Truth Initiative — the nonprofit anti-tobacco organization — released a study that compared seven popular Netflix shows to seven popular broadcast shows. In this sample it found Netflix’s shows featured characters smoking almost three times as often as those produced by broadcast networks like NBC, ABC and CBS.
Netflix shows contained 319 “tobacco incidents” — more than twice the number in broadcast and cable TV shows, which had 139, per the watchdog organization’s analysis of top series for the 2015-16 season.
[Truth Initiative's Robin] Koval suggests smoking on TV shows could increase if streaming services continue to rapidly expand programming and don’t adopt policies discouraging smoking, like those in place at the broadcast networks.
Majority of programs popular with young audiences prominently depict smoking, with "Stranger Things" the worst offender.
“We know that there is a direct correlation between youths seeing (smoking) in films and also them beginning to be tobacco consumers or even just trying it,” said Peterborough Public Health peer leader and presenter Meagan Lacombe. “It’s also a concern because films are the last place that tobacco companies can advertise to youth.” [VIDEO]
As the world gets ready for this Sunday’s Academy Awards, some Vancouver students are playing the role of movie critic. [Vancouver students] have kept a close eye on acting and cinematography and spotted something they don't like. Linda Aylesworth tells us what they're doing about it. [VIDEO]
The [provincial] government received an “F” for failing to protect Alberta youth from the depiction of smoking in youth-rated movies and a “D” for not implementing and enforcing approved legislation to prohibit tobacco sales to minors. [Full report at http://bit.ly/2FYcwdx]
“Tobacco companies used to pay studios, directors [and] actors for product placement on the screen,” said [Erika] Sward [of the American Lung Association]. “We know that was one of the ways that the tobacco industry directly marketed their products, many of which were aimed at young people. That was prior to the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies in 1998, but we still do see a great deal of tobacco use in the movies and on screen. It was way back in 1964 [that] the Surgeon General concluded that smoking causes lung cancer.”
An advocacy group that uses proxy resolutions to spur consumer-electronics chains and oil producers to change practices is turning its attention to mutual fund companies that invest in tobacco — and Hollywood. [News article is subscription only]
It’s early days for this latest salvo in France’s bid to reduce the nation’s nicotine intake, and it’s unclear if there would be a move to factor smoking into the ratings system. While many agree that system is in need of an overhaul after several certifications have been challenged in recent years — mostly owing to sex and violence — one industry executive tells me of a hard crackdown on smoking: “If it’s a battle they start, I don’t believe it’s going to work. Society’s mood is going to be, ‘What? No way.’ It would be ridiculed.”
The Guardian (UK)
The debate was ignited after the Socialist senator Nadine Grelet-Certenais accused France’s film-makers of continuing to advertise for the tobacco industry. “Seventy per cent of new French films have at least one scene of someone smoking. This more or less helps to make its use banal, even promote it, to children and adolescents,” Grelet-Certenais told the Sénat, the upper house of parliament.
Health Minister Agnés Buzyn said she would be contacting the French culture minister - whose remit includes the country’s film industry - to discuss the issue and that so-far unspecified “measures” would be taken to make French directors and screenwriters kick their tobacco habit.
Montgomery, who’s not a smoker, had to learn how to make it look convincing. But the Stranger Things cast doesn’t use Hollywood-standard herbal cigarettes: they use real Marlboro Reds. Why? “The smoke plays so much thicker onscreen,” says Montgomery. Plus, he’s fairly certain that co-stars David Harbour and Winona Ryder “just wanted to smoke real cigarettes.” Over the course of a five-hour shoot, Montgomery would go through “three or four packs,” then wake up the next day with a smoke-induced hangover.
A clampdown has been urged at Westminster against smoking on the reality TV show Love Island amid concerns it is glamorising the habit to young viewers. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Storey said contestants on the ITV programme regularly smoked and pressed ministers over the message this sent to youngsters.
The Village Voice
The state spends $600 million a year to subsidize film and TV productions, yet promised job and tax gains remain elusive.
India's Health Ministry has asked the Telecom Ministry to enforce running 30-second anti-tobacco messages before films and television programs with tobacco imagery, a policy followed by movie theaters and broadcasters but not by Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, and other streamers in India.
As You Sow
Investors with $64 billion urge Hollywood studios to make youth-rated movies tobacco-free, as a new web-platform from As You Sow tracks investments in tobacco and entertainment companies that promote tobacco to kids.
Catholic Health World
Making movies smoke-free could save about a million lives. That is a claim Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health makes in a public activism campaign it launched this year to end the portrayal of smoking in movies — and most especially in youth-rated films.
Movies are entertainment, an escape from reality. The best films make us laugh and cry; we come away feeling more alive. Yet the facts show that movies can lead to real deaths, too. So to everyone in Hollywood involved in the ratings system, the choice is yours. Which side do you want to be on?
Study after study has shown the tobacco related imagery in movies can influence children to begin smoking. [Includes audio link]
“Most smokers are enticed into nicotine addiction as children, and the American film industry must take assertive action now to ensure that our kids are not lured into using this uniquely lethal product by depictions of smoking in major motion pictures," said Gary Reedy, CEO of the American Cancer Society.
According to the U.S. CDC, exposure to on-screen smoking will recruit more than six million U.S. children to smoke, of whom two million will die prematurely from tobacco-induced cancer, heart disease, lung disease or stroke.
KPCC (So. California)
"Since the industry's progress halted, major studios and independent producer-distributors have released 210 top-grossing, youth-rated U.S. films featuring more than 6,000 tobacco incidents, delivering 60.5 billion tobacco impressions to audiences in U.S. theaters alone," the letter says.
"Today, the American Academy of Family Physicians is part of the more than 400,000 doctors and 17 public health and medical groups demanding the film industry take a very clear and necessary action to help protect one of our most vulnerable populations," said AAFP President John Meigs, M.D., of Centreville, Ala., in a joint news release(www.aap.org).
"By voluntarily implementing policies that require R ratings for smoking, the film industry can avert 1 million tobacco deaths among today's children, according to estimates from the CDC," the coalition of health groups said in the statement.
A coalition of the nation's most influential health organizations -- responding to a July 7 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- have demanded that movie producers, distributors and exhibitors apply an R rating to all films that include depictions of smoking or tobacco.
DSC Original Content
But for teenagers, it may not be taxes, age restrictions or other anti-smoking measures that impact whether or not they smoke as much as one big thing: the movies. Teenagers who see smoking in films are two to three times more likely to start smoking, even when controlling for other factors, like whether your parents smoke, socioeconomics or attitudes. Which is why whether or not a teen sees smoking on the big screen is considered the “largest single stimulus” for teenagers to pick up smoking, proving true in a study of 17 different countries.