Article Text

Smoking in movies remained high in 1997
  1. THERESA STOCKWELL TETI
  1. Central Coast Tobacco Free Regional Project
  2. 17872 Moro Road
  3. Prunedale, California 93907, USA
  4. redtess{at}ix.netcom.com
  5. University of California, San Francisco
  6. San Francisco, California 94143, USA
  7. glantz{at}cardio.ucsf.edu
    1. STANTON A GLANTZ
    1. Central Coast Tobacco Free Regional Project
    2. 17872 Moro Road
    3. Prunedale, California 93907, USA
    4. redtess{at}ix.netcom.com
    5. University of California, San Francisco
    6. San Francisco, California 94143, USA
    7. glantz{at}cardio.ucsf.edu

      Statistics from Altmetric.com

      Editor,—Smoking in the movies transmits the message, particularly to young people, that tobacco use is a widespread and acceptable behaviour.1 2We have shown that, between 1990 and 1996, smoking in movies increased rapidly and reached levels at or above the levels seen in the 1960s.3 4

      Using the same methods as in our earlier work,3 4we selected five films at random (Con Air,Contact, Face/Off, Good Will Hunting, and My Best Friend’s Wedding) from the 20 top-grossing films in 1997. Tobacco use in the movies remains high (figure). The prevalence of tobacco use in films continues to substantially overstate use in reality. Sixty per cent of major male characters and 30% of major female characters smoked. (Each film has four “major” characters, the male protagonist and antagonist and the female protagonist and antagonist.) The messages associated with tobacco use continue to mirror tobacco industry advertising themes of rebellion and independence.

      Frequency of tobacco use (events per minute) in a random sample of top grossing films from 1960 through 1997. The films were watched in five-minute intervals and each use of tobacco in a given five-minute interval was counted as a single event. The total number of events was then divided by the duration of the film.3 4

      Public health advocates are not making progress in encouraging film makers to reduce tobacco use in films.

      Acknowledgments

      This work was supported by Grant CA-61021 from the National Cancer Institute.

      References

      View Abstract

      Request permissions

      If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.