Tobacco Use in Top-Grossing Movies — United States, 2010–2018
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Tobacco Use in Top-Grossing Movies — United States, 2010–2018
  • Published Date:

    November 01 2019

  • Source:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 68(43):974-978
  • Language:
Filetype[PDF-407.28 KB]

  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    The Surgeon General has concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in movies and initiation of smoking among young persons (1). Youths heavily exposed to onscreen smoking imagery are more likely to begin smoking than are those with minimal exposure (1,2). To assess tobacco-use imagery in top-grossing youth-rated movies (General Audiences [G], Parental Guidance [PG], and Parents Strongly Cautioned [PG-13]),* 2010-2018 data from the Breathe California Sacramento Region and University of California-San Francisco's Onscreen Tobacco Database were analyzed.| The percentage of all top-grossing movies with tobacco incidents remained stable from 2010 (45%) to 2018 (46%), including youth-rated movies (31% both years). However, total tobacco incidents increased 57% from 2010 to 2018, with a 120% increase in PG-13 movies. Tobacco incidents in PG-13 fictional movies declined 57% from 511 in 2010 to an all-time low of 221 in 2018. Although the number of PG-13 fictional movies with tobacco incidents declined 40% during 2010-2018, the number of PG-13 biographical dramas with tobacco incidents increased 233%. In 2018, biographical dramas accounted for most tobacco incidents, including 82% of incidents in PG-13 movies; 73% of characters who used tobacco in these biographical dramas were fictional. Continued efforts could help reduce tobacco incidents in top-grossing movies, particularly in PG-13 biographical dramas, to help prevent youth smoking initiation.
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