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Tobacco Product Placement: Films Just Can’t Quit Smoking!

There’s nothing better than a good cigarette!  At least that’s what’s portrayed in many of the films these days, many of which are rated acceptable for children and teens.  Yes, I said these days.  Is this surprising, considering all of the recent anti-smoking hype that’s circulating?

Pulp Fiction

Yesterday, Science Daily published a report that identified some pretty interesting trends.  While the depiction of smoking has declined over the past 20 years, tobacco product placement and imagery has not.   The analysis identified brand appearances and smoking paraphernalia for brands, such as Marlboro and Silk Cut, were found for five-minute intervals in more than 15 films, which accounted for more than 50% of each year’s box office success.

According to the article, “Two thirds of films classified for under 18s and over half (61%) classified for under 15s featured tobacco intervals. Between 2004 and 2008, of the films containing tobacco intervals, 92% were rated as suitable for those under 18.”

A study done by UCSF states there is a direct correlation between youngsters that watch smoking in movies and those that start smoking.

Tobacco companies pay big bucks to movie studios to have their products placed in films.  The films created by these studios account for more than 90% of children’s on-screen tobacco exposure.  Ouch!  That’s why several groups are petitioning to have an automatic “R” rating placed on all films that have tobacco products in them.

I’m not here to harp on smokers.  I smoked years ago, and I can’t say that I would have never tried a cigarette if I hadn’t seen them in movies.  But I do know that most teens are influenced by the people they look up to, and there are hundreds of tough, sexy, glamorous, cigarette-toting characters in the blockbuster movies we watch today.  Is it really necessary

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