Smoking Scenes are More Popular in Foreign Movies

Movies produced in other countries are much more likely to illustrate smoking than movies produced in the United States, a new study confirms.

Smoking Scenes

However, in movies that did show smoking, solely those from Argentina revealed smoking on screen for an extended period compared to those from the United States, the study authors reported.

In addition, drinking was typical in films from all of the countries examined.

Preceding investigation discovered that cigarette smoking in films could result in smoking by teenagers. In 1997, the United States prohibited paid product placement of tobacco in films, however a number of other countries do not have similar limitations.

Countries must prohibit tobacco use in movies that receive government subsides, stated the authors of the study posted November 3 in the journal BMC Public Health.

The international group examined about 502 American films and 337 nationally released films from over six European and two Latin American countries. The films were produced between 2004 and 2009, and were commercially profitable.

Movies from Iceland had the greatest percentage of tobacco consumption, whilst those from the Netherlands had the smallest percentage, the study identified.

As for drinking displays, between 75 % and 97 % of movies from all of the countries revealed scenes where alcohol was ingested.

“Our study discovered that the existence of tobacco and alcohol in movies is substantial, whether or not the movie is produced in Europe or the Americas. Also in countries where tobacco industry payment for product positioning is forbidden by law, over half of films include tobacco scenes — countries without these directives were even more probably to display tobacco use on screen,” senior researcher James Thrasher stated in a journal news release.

Thrasher, of the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health, stated no country studied has policies set up to minimize alcohol use in movies, and alcohol use in all movies is universally higher.

“Movies are strong vehicles for impacting on behaviors,” Thrasher stated. “As advised by the World Health Organization, governments trying to decrease adolescent smoking must think about no longer funding national movies that depict tobacco consumption.