R Restricted : Under 17 years requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Text description of this infographic is available on a separate page. Figure 1. Text description of this graph is available on a separate page. Figure 2.
A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that smoking in movies is back in fashion. According to the study, 41 percent of the U. Also worth noting: Incidences of tobacco usage in those films have increased 80 percent in just one year. Even more disturbing is the fact that the trend extends to youth-oriented films: Since , tobacco use in PG movies has increased by 43 percent. While there had been a noticeable drop in smoking on screen from to , in the past six years, the trend ceased its downward trajectory.
Catch an R or PGrated movie these days, and you're practically guaranteed to see three things: sex, violence, and cigarettes. Even on television, villains smoke to look more villainous, heroes smoke to look more heroic, and the extras smoke for "atmosphere. Cigarettes and cigarette advertising have even found their way into children's movies, such as Dalmations, The Nutty Professor and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.
As smoking becomes a less socially acceptable behavior, movies are one of the few places where it continues to be portrayed positively — as normal social behavior, as glamorous and as rebellious and edgy. The relationship between exposure to smoking in the movies and youth smoking initiation is compelling — the more kids see smoking in movies, the more likely they are to smoke themselves. Studies show that 44 percent of adolescents who start smoking do so because of smoking images they have seen in the movies. There is a clear link between images of smoking in the movies and youth smoking behavior, and the decrease in on-screen tobacco images in recent years may have contributed to the declining percentage of youth smokers in the same period.