Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Smoking in movies

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I gradually became aware of some movies aimed at young people that feature a LOT of smoking: Ghostbusters, for example. Watch that sometime and count the number of times the characters—the cool, funny characters—are smoking. Or in the movie Stargate, Ken Russell teaches a boy how to smoke: the boy coughs on that first inhalation, but Ken—a real MAN—doesn’t. And so on. And now, unsurprisingly, we find:

Philip Morris and the tobacco industry in general have long insisted that cigarette advertising has no influence whatsoever in getting people to start smoking, claiming it only influences existing adult smokers to change brands. But this week the National Cancer Institute published an extensive, 684-page monograph that evaluates current evidence regarding the power of the media to both encourage and discourage tobacco use. NCI found that “The total weight of evidence — from multiple studies, conducted by investigators from different disciplines, and using data from many countries — demonstrates a causal relationship between tobacco advertising and promotion and increased tobacco use.” NCI further concluded that smoking in the movies causes more children to start smoking, saying “the depiction of cigarette smoking in movies is pervasive” and “the total weight of evidence … indicates a causal relationship between exposure to depictions of smoking in movies and youth initiation.”

Source: National Cancer Institute, August 21, 2008

Written by Leisureguy

22 August 2008 at 12:59 pm

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