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R-rated film viewing and adolescent smoking.

Source Health New Zealand.


As smoking is very common in R-rated films, we sought to determine if viewing R-rated films is associated with adolescent smoking.


Three annual cross-sectional surveys conducted of 88,505 Year 10 students of largely European, Maori, Asian or Pacific Islander ethnicity in secondary schools in New Zealand between 2002 and 2004. Outcomes of interest were: intention to smoke among never smokers; past experimentation with smoking among current non-smokers; current smoking status; and current frequency of smoking.


Dose-response relationships were observed between the frequency of viewing R-rated films and all outcome measures controlling for age, gender, ethnicity, peer smoking, parental smoking, socioeconomic status, pocket money and household smoking rules. Compared to never viewing R-rated films, viewing at least weekly nearly tripled the relative risk (2.81; 95% confidence interval 2.57, 3.09) of never smokers being susceptible to smoking, and more than doubled the risk of both past experimentation (2.28; 95% CI 2.12, 2.45) and smoking>/=monthly (2.31; 95% CI 2.10, 2.54). Each of these risks was seen across all ethnic groups.


Our results extend the association that has been demonstrated between viewing R-rated films and current smoking in American youth by demonstrating the same association in youth of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds in New Zealand.

Tobacco industry relying on movies for brand promotion

Actor Kangna Ranaut

The tobacco industry in India used actor Kangna Ranaut to promote the vice.

The tobacco industry is increasingly leaning on movies for the promotion of its business in India and several other countries following the ban on tobacco advertising, the WHO has warned.

Of late, the industry has also been denied the sponsorship of sports and music events, compelling it to shift its focus to films, the global health body observes in the report “Smokefree movies: From evidence to action”.

Hollywood actor Sharon Stone

Hollywood actor Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct glamourised smoking.

A survey of popular films has shown that tobacco brand displays exploded in Bollywood after its advertising was banned in the media in 2004. Of the 395 top grossers in 1990-2002, 76 per cent depicted the use of tobacco. The percentage of scenes showing lead actors or heroes using tobacco increased from 22 in 1991 to 54 in 2002. Of the 110 Hindi movies produced in 2004-2005, 89 per cent depicted tobacco use. The lead actors were shown smoking in 76 per cent of these movies.

The brand display was more or less even between premium cigarette brands belonging to the British American Tobacco, its Indian partner (the Indian Tobacco Company) and competing brands belonging to the Philip Morris International, whose entry into the Indian market coincided with the ban on tobacco advertising.

Using movies to promote smoking is a global phenomenon. In the UK, where almost all forms of tobacco advertising are prohibited, youth-rated films from the US contained 83 per cent of all tobacco visuals in 2001-2006. In Australia, a study in 2008 found that 70 per cent of the total movies showed smoking scenes, including 75 per cent of the most popular films. In Canada, a 2009 survey revealed that 75 per cent of tobacco-related shots appeared in youth rated movies.

The on-screen smoking images – branded or otherwise – are generally consistent with cigarette advertising than with the authentic representations of the dire health consequences of tobacco use, the WHO states. Such images benefit the tobacco industry and increase among the youth the initiative to smoke, the report adds.

Hamish Maxwell, the then president of Philip Morris International and later the CEO of Philip Morris Companies, had recognised this fact in 1983, the report states, quoting him as saying the important thing was to “continue to exploit new opportunities to get cigarettes on screen” in order to keep smoking socially acceptable.

WHO suggests adult rating for movies with tobacco scenes to lower the chances of their influence on the youths. An exception can be made for the movies depicting dangerous consequences of tobacco use, it adds.

Reel effect for real

– Movies have been linked to youth smoking in India, China, Hong Kong, England, Germany, Thailand, The Netherlands, Poland, Scotland, Italy, Mexico and Iceland

– Of the 395 top-grossing films in 1990-2002 in India, 76 per cent depicted tobacco use

– Scenes showing lead actors/heroes using tobacco increased from 22 per cent in 1991 to 54 per cent in 2002

– Of the 110 Hindi movies produced in 2004 and 2005, 89 per cent depicted tobacco use. Lead actors were seen smoking in 76 per cent of the movies

Read more at:

China announces new limits on smoking in film and television

China has ordered films and television producers to limit the amount of
smoking depicted on-screen, the latest effort to curb rampant tobacco use in
the country with the largest number of smokers in the world.
The order from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television
ordered producers to minimise plot lines and scenes involving tobacco and
show smoking only when necessary for artistic purposes or character
Under the guidelines, minors under age 18 cannot be shown smoking or buying
cigarettes, and characters may not smoke in public buildings or other places
where smoking is banned.
Tobacco use is linked to the deaths of at least 1 million people every year
in China, where 300 million people, or nearly 30 per cent of adults, smoke.
While numbers of smokers have remained flat for the past decade, mortality
rates among them are rising fast. If trends continue, by 2030 an estimated
3.5 million Chinese will die from smoking each year, according to a report
issued last month by a group of prominent Chinese public health experts and

Smoking in the movies


Studies have linked exposure to movie smoking and smoking initiation among

U.S. adolescents, but there has been only one published study of adolescents

outside the U.S.


Cross sectional survey of 5586 schoolchildren aged 10-17 with a mean of 12.8

(SD=1.2) years from randomly selected secondary schools in

Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, in October/November 2005. In August 2006, using

previously validated methods, exposure to movie smoking was estimated from

398 internationally distributed films (98% produced and distributed by U.S.

studios) released in Germany, and examined its relation with ever and

current (30 day) smoking.


Smoking in internationally distributed movies is associated with ever and

current smoking among German adolescents. This suggests the need for

prospective studies of this association in countries other than the U.S. and

research into the potential impact of countrywide policies that would limit

exposure of young adolescents to movie smoking.

Exposure to movie smoking: The impact of Hollywood movies versus European movies

Smokefree Movies Europe
The project Smoking in Movies is co-funded by the European Commission.
Participating Countries:
. Participating countries:
. Germany
. Iceland
. Italy
. The Netherlands
. Poland
. United Kingdom
In many cases movies produced in one country are not only distributed in the
origin country, but distributed internationally and presented to a broad
audience in many countries. Distribution channels internationally include
DVD’s, cinema and TV delivery. Sometimes movies are delivered worldwide
through the internet. To really address this problem and to contribute to
solve it, activities on an European level are necessary.

The present project “Smoking in movies: Impact on European youth and policy
options” tries to approach the issue of smoking in movies from an European
perspective. It contains three main project parts:

1.The assessment of smoking in movies released in European countries
2.The study of the impact of exposure to smoking in movies on European
3.The formulation of European policy options

Stop showing tobacco on screen, Bollywood urged – The Times of India

Stop showing tobacco on screen, Bollywood urged

IANS | Sep 29, 2011, 12.48PM IST

Stating that on screen representation of smoking glamorizes tobacco, civil society members Wednesday urged the film industry and censor board to avoid depicting such scenes in movies.

“There are several empirical studies and global evidence which show that depiction of tobacco usage in movies increases the risk of initiation of tobacco use in an indirect manner,” Salaam Bombay Foundation Programme Director Devika Chadha said at a workshop.

The workshop was attended by members of health and information and broadcasting ministries, along with representatives from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and film industry. Health Ministry Director Rakesh Kumar said more communication was needed between the health and information and broadcasting ministries to tackle the issue.

Supriya Sahu, representative of the information and broadcasting ministry, said the ministry monitors 300 of the over 700 TV channels to check there was no direct or indirect advertising of tobacco or alcohol. Supporting the activists, scriptwriter Rekha Nigam said: “Hands of Bollywood are bloodied…there are thousands ways of showing a character than showing smoking.”

Recent online evidential reports – smoking in the movies merits R18 censor rating

Download PDF : Recent online evidential reports suggest

Smoking in Mad Men movie

Of course films with smoking in them should carry a health warning

“In fact, hoping to look like a film star is what got me hooked. As well as wanting to be chums with the cool kids. And it would be much harder to legislate against the latter. Better instead to keep it off the cinema screens until the teenage smoker finally grows up.”  Guy Stagg is Online Lifestyle Editor at the Telegraph Media Group and is a former researcher for the Conservative Party.