Smoking in Movies and TV
spots used to run among previews in Florida movie theatres, until the Legislature cut the funding. The State
of Florida also ran effective anti-tobacco TV spots and billboard
ads, and they launched a huge tobacco education campaign in schools,
with special teachers and materials. The Truth logo was
used consistently in every division of the overall campaign.
By 2003, Florida's well funded tobacco education program had helped
bring about a phenomenal 50% reduction in middle school smoking,
and a 35% reduction in high school smoking!
While it was well-funded, the
Florida Tobacco Control Program, based in Tallahassee, was an extraordinary success. Financed by the settlement of Florida's
lawsuit against the tobacco companies, the trailers they ran in
movie theaters were only part of the campaign.
Foundation for a Smokefree America supports the concept of running
more such ads in movie theatres in other States.
Placing cigarette brands in films
Just a few years ago, some
producers in Hollywood would take large payments from the tobacco companies, just to place cigarette brands in films.
The producers of License
to Kill took a $350,000 payment to have James Bond smoke
Larks in the movie and of course, James Bond is a role
model for young boys.
In Superman II,
woman reporter Lois Lane, a nonsmoker in the comics, chain-smoked
Marlboros, and the Marlboro brand name appeared some 40 times
in the film. Tobacco giant Phillip Morris paid a mere $40,000
to the producers for this. Of course, Lois Lane is a role model
for young girls.
Sylvester Stallone took a
$500,000 payment from one tobacco company to smoke their brand
in three of his films.
Phillip Morris even placed
its products in, astoundingly, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and
The Muppet Movie.
These are just the documented
cases. There are doubtless many more which will never come to
swears that it has stopped placing cigarette brands in films
but we know of one instance in which a tobacco company helped
finance a film, and then put its products prominently in it. U.S.
Tobacco, which makes most of the chewing tobacco, had a movie
production division which made a movie, Pure Country,
in which handsome, good-old-boy cowboys chew. Fortunately, it
bombed, to the relief of anti-smoking advocates.
There have been more recent reports of cigar companies paying
to promote cigars in films. Movie stars have done a great deal
to help popularize cigars, such as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum
in Independence Day. Arnold Schwartzenegger, Bruce Willis,
Demi Moore, and Pierce Brosnan, all appeared on the cover of Cigar
Aficionado magazine. These stars' use of cigars makes a powerful
statement which is not lost on teens as they browse through the
nation's magazine racks. Cigars cause mouth and throat cancer,
as well as poisoning the air with extra-strong second hand smoke.
This excellent group is devoted
to the problem of smoking in movies. They have done some very credible, major studies which prove that smoking in films really does influence young people to begin smoking.
The group was launched in March, 2001, and it has successfully created widespread awareness within the Hollywood community that smoking by stars significantly increases teen smoking rates. It was funded by a $12 million initial grant from the Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation, at the suggestion of anti-smoking activist Stan Glantz of UCSF. The group's web url is http://www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/
December 27, 2001
Summary of article
in the San Francisco Chronicle
Author: Carla Meyer
Gene Hackman and Gwyneth Paltrow leave a
trail of butts in "The Royal Tenenbaums," Meg Ryan gets
cut off mid-drag in "Kate and Leopold," Cameron Diaz shows
her badness by lighting up in "Vanilla Sky" and Sissy
Spacek uses cigarettes to cope in "In the Bedroom."
Smoking onscreen is on the rise after tapering
off in the 1970s and 1980s, according to professor Stanton Glantz
and his UCSF colleagues, who studied movie smoking from the 1960s
through 2000. Their research, which they recently updated, found
that the rate of smoking in films, as compared with that of the
general population, has reached levels resembling those of the early
'60s, before the U.S. surgeon general's office issued its landmark
1964 report linking tobacco to early death.
More specifically, movie leads these days
are four times more likely to smoke than their real-life counterparts.
Whereas the lead characters who smoke often are wealthy and successful,
says Glantz, "people who smoke in the ! real world tend to
be poor, poorly educated people."
The reasons for the increase are unclear.
"You hear this sort of film noir period-piece
argument, but in a lot of those ('40s noir movies), people were
being paid to smoke," he says. "People say, 'I need the
smoking in order to be accurate.' But they aren't making documentaries.
It's a cop-out." Though "The Majestic" takes place
in the early '50s, it features only trace amounts of tobacco --
James Whitmore sucking on a pipe that seems more an accessory than
an addiction feeder.
Perhaps not coincidentally, "The Majestic"
was made by Rob Reiner's Castle Rock production company. Reiner,
a fierce anti-smoking activist, expressed dismay when an earlier
Castle Rock film, "Proof of Life," featured Meg Ryan smoking.
While these portrayals are hardly glamorous,
Glantz says they do damage anyway.
"Any use of tobacco in the movies promotes
tobacco use among kids," says Glantz
Good Morning America
In a November, '97 segment of Good Morning
America, advocate Patrick Reynolds debated director Barry Sonnenfeld
(Men in Black) about smoking in films. The segment has been
sent to many schools, as an educational video. In it Reynolds pointed
out that John Travolta has smoked in every film he'd appeared in
recently. He was also critical of Julia Roberts for her smoking
in My Best Friend's Wedding, as well as the cute little alien
creatures in Men In Black, who smoked and made it look funny,
cute and cool.
In the same Good Morning America segment,
Reynolds said to Mr. Sonnenfeld, "It's hypocritical for stars
to make lofty acceptance speeches at the Academy Awards, and then
forget all those high ethics and moral standards when actually making
films. That's what happens when they allow their screen characters
to glamorize smoking. Stars need to be reminded how much youth look
up to them, and that they are role models for millions of kids,
and idolized by many."
It's simple: if stars make responsible choices,
young people will copy them.
In a 1990's People magazine article, anti-smoking
advocates including Reynolds pointed out that Winona Rider and Ethan
Hawke had glamorized smoking in Reality Bytes and in other films.
Perhaps she will think twice before making smoking look cool to
millions of teens around the world in her future films.
Summary of article in The Lancet,
Jan 4, 2001
IN CONTEMPORARY FILMS
AND CONTRIBUTION TO GLOBAL MARKETING OF CIGARETTES
Findings: More than 85% of films contained
Tobacco brands appeared in 70 (28%) films.
Brand appearances were as common in films suitable for adolescent
audiences as they were in films for adult audiences (32 vs 35%),
and were also present in 20% of those rated for children. Prevalence
of brand appearance did not change overall in relation to the ban.
However, there was a striking increase in
the type of brand appearance depicted, with actor endorsement increasing
from 1% of films before the ban to 11% after. Four US cigarette
brands accounted for 80% of brand appearances. Revenues outside
the USA accounted for 49% of total revenues for these films, indicating
a large international audience.
Tobacco-brand appearances are common in
films and are becoming increasingly endorsed by actors. The most
highly advertised US cigarette brands account for most brand appearances,
which suggests an advertising motive to this practice.
Note: "Ban" refers to a self-
imposed film industry ban and also the 1998 tobacco industry lawsuit
settlements, which prohibit tobacco companies from paying to have
their products appear in films
The Lancet (Jan 4, 2001)
Full Text of article: http://tobacconews.org/index.cfm?StoryID=56447
by James D Sargent, Jennifer J Tickle. Michael L Beach, Madeline
A Dalton, M Bridget Ahrens, Todd F Heatherton , Category: Society:
Summary of article in the Bloomberg
News (Jan 5, 2001):
MORE IN MOVIES
THAN BEFORE BAN, STUDY SAYS
Movie actors are smoking more often in films
-- with brand names prominent -- though a self- imposed ban and
industry lawsuit settlements prohibit tobacco companies from paying
to have their products appear in films, a new study showed.
"I can't tell you as a scientist why
we are seeing more actor endorsements but we do know that having
a famous person endorse a product is effective,'' said M. Bridget
Ahrens, one of the researchers from Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer
Efforts to restrict tobacco advertising
and the use of brand- name products in films aren't having a significant
impact, the study found. The researchers suggested a complete ban
on tobacco brand appearances in films and an investigation into
the increasing number of endorsements.
"We don't have any proof of how the
cigarettes got there -- be it clandestine payments, free samples
to a particular set designer, or an actor who just happens to smoke
that brand," Ahrens said. "But now that we see it and
we know what the effect is, we need to answer the question of why
it is there."
The study will appear in tomorrow's medical
journal Lancet. The most-advertised cigarettes in the U.S. also
appeared most frequently in actors' hands, the researchers said.
Philip Morris Inc.'s Marlboro brand was seen in 40 percent of the
movies; R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings Inc.'s Winston, in 17 percent;
Camel, in 11 percent, and British American Tobacco Plc's Lucky Strike,
in 12 percent.
Bloomberg News (Jan 5, 2001)
Full Text: http://tobacconews.org/index.cfm?StoryID=56438
by Michelle Fay Cortez / (360) 293-4983, or firstname.lastname@example.org,
Category: Society: Movies
STUDY SAYS SMOKING IN MOVIES IS INCREASING,
IN CONTRAST TO REAL SMOKING RATES
Press release of March 2, 1998
From: Professor Stan Glantz, University
of California at San Francisco, Press office
Advocates can call to request an e-mailed
copy of the study.
Contact: Jeffrey Norris or Alice Trinkl,
Tel: (415) 476-2557
The incidence of smoking in top-grossing
movies has increased during the 1990s, and dramatically exceeds
real smoking rates, according to a new study led by a prominent
tobacco researcher from the University of California San Francisco.
After declining over three decades, smoking
in movies has returned to levels comparable to those observed in
the 1960s before the issuance of the first Surgeon General's report
on smoking and health in 1964, according to Stanton A. Glantz, Ph.D.,
a professor of medicine at UCSF with the Institute for Health Policy
Studies and the Division of Cardiology.
The report by Glantz and Theresa F. Stockwell,
who conducted the research as part of a master's degree project,
appears in the new issue of Tobacco Control, a scientific journal
published by the British Medical Association. The presentation of
smoking in films remains pro-tobacco, according to Stockwell and
Glantz, with only 14 percent of tobacco screen-time presenting adverse
social or health effects of tobacco use.
The researchers found that in movies from
the 1960s, tobacco was used about once for every five minutes of
film time. In films from the 1970s and 1980s, tobacco was
used about once every 10 to 15 minutes, but in movies from the 1990s,
tobacco was used an average of every three to five minutes, according
to the researchers.
"The use of tobacco in films is increasing
and is reinforcing misleading images that present smoking
as a widespread and socially desirable activity," according
to Glantz and Stockwell. "These portrayals may encourage
teenagers -- the major movie audience -- to smoke. "Films continue
to present the smoker as one who is typically white, male, middle
class, successful and attractive, a movie hero who takes smoking
for granted," the researchers report. "As in tobacco
advertising, tobacco use in the movies is associated with youthful
vigor, good health, good looks, and personal and professional acceptance.
"Portrayals of tobacco use, whether
in a positive or negative context, lead to changes in attitudes
that predispose children to smoking. In an era in which the
tobacco industry is finding traditional advertising media increasingly
restricted, the appearance of tobacco use in motion pictures is
an important mechanism to promote and reinforce tobacco use, particularly
among young people," they report.
To conduct the study, Glantz and Stockwell
randomly selected for analysis five films from among the 20 leading
moneymakers for each year from 1990 to 1996. In the movies
sampled, 57 percent of leading characters smoked, compared to just
14 percent of similar people in the general population. In the films
from 1991 through 1996, 80 percent of the male leads smoked.
In an earlier study Glantz analyzed two
films from among the 20 most popular films every year for the years
1960 through 1990. After comparing the two studies the researchers
concluded that the socioeconomic status of smokers in movies has
increased dramatically during the 1990s compared to earlier decades,
despite the fact that smoking in real life is more common among
lower social classes.
Among characters who smoked, 55 percent
were from a lower socioeconomic class in the randomly selected movies
from the 1960s, compared to 54 percent in the 1970s, 58 percent
in the 1980s, and just 21 percent in the 1990s. The percentage
of movie smokers who were middle class was 19 percent in 1960s movies,
25 percent in 1970s movies, 25 percent in 1980 movies, but jumped
to 49 percent in 1990s movies. The percentage of upper class
smokers in the sampled movies was 26 percent in the 1960s, 21 percent
in the 1970s, 17 percent in the 1980s, and rose to 30 percent in
The reason for the increasing incidence
of smoking in films is not clear, Glantz says.
During the 1980s, the tobacco industry was
paying substantial fees for product placement, Glantz and Stockwell
point out, but the Tobacco Institute claims that payment for specific
brand placement in films has ended. Glantz and Stockwell found that
brand identification decreased during the 1990s.
Glantz and Stockwell argue that strong anti-tobacco
advertisements should be aired by movie theaters prior to the screening
of any film that portrays smoking, and that movie producers should
require everyone connected to the making of a film to certify that
they are not receiving money or gifts for the use of tobacco in