Smoke-Free Media

The tobacco industry uses tobacco imagery and brand identification in movies, television shows and the internet to both normalize and glamorize tobacco use to kids. The average teen watches almost 11 hours of media daily. The media youth consume is often completely unregulated, giving the tobacco industry direct access to teens’ daily lives.

Smoking in movies, kills in real life. According to the Surgeon General’s report in 2012, “the evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people.” 1 PG-13 films account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents see on the big screen. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in 2014 that 6.4 million children alive today will become smokers because of this exposure.

Due to the strong influences smoking has on kids, the tobacco industry uses the media to target youth by having their favorite actors and actresses light up on both television and movie screens. Research shows that the more smoking youth see on screen, the more likely they are to start smoking. Smoking in movies recruits 187,000 new teen smokers every year. 60,000 of them will die prematurely due to tobacco related illnesses.2

The current rating system fails to protect our kids. Currently, films are slipping through the cracks such as 2011 film, Rango, a PG film with over 60 instances of smoking. By implementing an R rating for smoking, it will save one million lives. 3

Fast Facts:

· The Surgeon General concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and smoking initiation among young people.4
· PG-13 films account for nearly two-thirds of the smoking scenes adolescents see on the big screen.5
· Smoking in movies recruits 187,000 new teen smokers every year. 60,000 of them will die prematurely due to tobacco related illnesses.
· In the 2018 Oscar Awards, 50% of youth rated films contained smoking and 100% of R-rated films contained smoking
· In 2016, 26% of all youth-rated movies (G, PG, PG-13) contained tobacco impressions. 6
· There were 809 instances of tobacco imagery in top-grossing PG-13 movies in 2016. This is an increase of 43% since 2010. 7

Take Action:
Sign the SFM Petition: http://www.realitycheckofny.com/new-page-2/

1 DHHS. Preventing tobacco use among youth and young adults: A report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: DHHS, CDC, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2012.
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014
3 Polansky J, Titus K, Atayeva R, Glantz S. Smoking in Top-Grossing U.S. Movies, 2016 University of California, San Francisco, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, 2016 4 Sargent, James D., et al. “Effect of seeing tobacco use in films on trying smoking among adolescents: cross sectional study.” 5 Adler, Robert. “Here’s smoking at you, kid: Has tobacco product placement in the movies really stopped.” Mont. L. Rev.60 (1999): 243
6 World Health Organization. “Smoke-free movies: from evidence to action.” (2015).
7 Sargent JD, Tanski S, Stoolmiller M. Influence of Motion Picture Rating on Adolescent Response to Movie Smoking. Pediatrics 2012: 130:1-9