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Smoking Scenes Have Reduced Significantly

September 1st, 2011 00:00

Gone are the days when movies have showed scenes of rooms filled with smoke and actors smoking cigarettes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared recently that tobacco products are appearing less often on the screen.

According to findings a 72% drop was registered in 2010 in the number of screen oriented tobacco incidents in youth-rated films – G, PG and PG-13, from 2,181 incidences in 2005 to 578 in 2010. An incident was considered as one person lighting up or displaying a pack of cigarettes at one time in one scene. Those scenes where two people smoke are considered as two incidents.

Smoking scenes from Pulp Fiction

For instance in 2003, scientists from Dartmouth Medical School found that teenagers who watched movies with smoking scenes were nearly three times more likely to begin smoking than those who watched the fewest number of films with smoking scenes.

According to the report, which was supported by the National Cancer Institute, the Department of Health and Human Services started to include in their plan measures to reduce youth exposure to onscreen smoking in order to prevent teenagers from lighting up.

Since the given report, three of the six giant movies studios as Disney, Time Warner and Universal have published measure on tobacco reduction in their movies and have even dropped tobacco incidents by 96 %.

Among other three leading movie studios as Sony, Twentieth Century Fox, and Viacom, which do not have definite policies on smoking in films, incidents have decreases by 47%.

What happened is that the CEOs of Disney, Universal and Time Warner declared that they had to do something about the problem of smoking in films, Stanton Glantz, lead author of the study, stated in a telephone interview. “This should demonstrate if you implement a severe policy, you can significantly reduce smoking rates among teenagers and still have good and profitable movies.”

According to statistics in 2010, 75 of the 137 block busters featured no tobacco incidents in comparison to 49 of 147 in 2005. Even R-rated movies have seen a drop, with 14 of 48 films featuring no tobacco incidents in 2010.

The Motion Pictures Association of America should implement stricter policies, requiring movies that feature smoking scenes to carry an R-rating.

The MPAA refused to discuss the given issue. They declare that they have examined this within their ratings policy by declaring they consider smoking when deciding upon a rating. I have yet to see a single film rates R for smoking. For instance “Rango”, which is rated PG, had 60 instances of smoking, Glantz stated.

We give information about what is featured in movies, MPAA representative Elizabeth Kaltman declared.