.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Friday, September 28, 2012

No smoke without fire

With the Welsh Health Minister about to announce a relaxation of the smoking ban in Wales so as to allow actors to smoke on stage or on film sets as part of a production, this article in today's Telegraph seems to be particularly pertinent.

They report that research has shown that Hollywood films last year showed more on screen smoking than the previous year, reversing five years of steady progress in reducing tobacco imagery in movies.

They say that many of the top-grossing films of 2011 with significant amounts of smoking targeted a young audience, among them the PG-rated cartoon Rango and X-Men: First Class. This has alarmed public health experts:

Campaigners fear the glamorous portrayal of smoking by teenagers' favourite actors could encourage young people to adopt the habit.

Study lead author Dr Stanton Glantz, from the University of California in San Francisco, said: "Hollywood has still not fixed this problem.

"The result of the increase in onscreen smoking in youth-rated films will be more kids starting to smoke and developing tobacco-induced disease."

Altogether, the 134 top-grossing films of 2011 depicted nearly 1,900 tobacco "incidents," the analysis found. An incident is defined as one use or implied use - such as a lit cigarette - of a tobacco product by an actor.

Total tobacco incidents per movie rose seven percent from 2010 to 2011.

However among movies rated U, PG or PG-13, smoking incidents per movie soared by 36 percent.

In the past smoking was an everyday part of the social scene, but smoking bans in many countries has changed that. Should films not better reflect the trends of the time they are made in and also reduce the incidence of on-screen smoking?

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?