Smoking Images In Films Encourage Teen Smoking

Chelsea March 26, 2014 0

The public health community is alerted by the new data, which concluded that if smoking images in films will be eliminated, up to 18% reduction on teen smoking can be achieved. A decade ago, it was said that smoking incidents have proliferated the youth rated movies. This same level is once again reached in between year 2011 and year 2012.

Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! stated that two of the three films rated as PG-13 that received Best Picture nominations this year has shown smoking scenes. Large scale studies have shown that smoking images in films can cause and promote teenage smoking. With these, national youth tobacco prevention campaigns will be jeopardized and hindered.

Legacy-Funded Research

The study was financed by Legacy. The research found that in 2013, youth rated films have delivered approximately 14.8 billion impressions of tobacco to the movie house goers. This is 169% more than the number of impressions from youth movies back in 2010.

Tobacco impressions are defined as the product of tobacco incidents and number of sold movie tickets for each film. If actions will be made to eliminate these smoking images in films (produced and also rated appropriate for adolescents and children audiences) is believed to have a significant effect in keeping youths from even beginning to try using tobacco products.

Latest Report On Smoking

Back In January, the latest released US Surgeon General’s Report on Smoking and Health gave warnings that there will be 56 million living children would soon die prematurely if nothing is done to prevent their deaths. Actions that can be done include implementation of established workable strategies and new steps that can help prevent youths from starting using tobacco.

The report also mentioned that youths who have and have been watching films with smoking in the scenes are possible to soon take up smoking. Youths with the greatest exposure from onscreen smoking are roughly 2x more likely to start smoking than those who are least exposed.

Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. Howard Koh of the US Department of Health and Human Services remarked that as the 50th anniversary of the first Surgeon General Tobacco report is commemorated, it is only high time that kids are prevented from the bombardment of tobacco impressions from films.

Lives will be saved, he said, if the use of tobacco in movies will be reduced. Money as well years of suffering due to chronic diseases related to smoking will also be lessened.

In the US, tobacco is still the topmost cause of preventable deaths. Tobacco impacts millions of American families. Communities are hurt and the country is required to spend over $289 billion a year.

Smoking In Movies

This issue on smoking in movies is a leading public health priority. The US surgeon general, CDC, and the US Department of Health and Human Services have all been emphasizing how important it is to reduce the exposures of youths to smoking from the movies they watch.

Cigarette ads have been banned from radio and television since year 1970 when the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act was passed in the Congress. Nevertheless, smoking imagery remains prevalent in the movies that also include films that are targeted toward youth audiences.

Regardless of the tobacco advertising to youth restrictions, young people remain exposed to frequent glamorous images of smoking in movies. In turn, the youth audiences tend to model after the behaviors they have seen from the actors and actresses in the films.

In the US, about 3,200 youths aged below 18 years old are said to start smoking their first cigarettes. More than 90 of them eventually become daily smokers. Smoking depicted in fuilms could be more influential than traditional cigarette ads. Stanton Glantz, professor at University of California-San Francisco and known anti-smoking and anti-ecig campaigner, remarked that it is time for Motion Picture Association of America to accept this evidence that smoking in movies can really promote smoking to youths.

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