Tobacco use creeps up in movies

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Oct. 8, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The nation’s top-grossing movies of 2011 featured more on-screen smoking than such films did in 2010. The increase ended five years of decreasing tobacco images in movies, said a report published online Sept. 27 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

The 134 biggest money-making movies of 2011 depicted 1,881 tobacco incidents, up from 1,819 in 2010. A tobacco incident is defined as one use, or an implied use, of a tobacco product by an actor. Implied tobacco use includes showing a lighted cigarette.

Overall, tobacco incidents per youth-rated movie (films rated G, PG and PG-13) increased from 6.5% in 2010 to 8.8% in 2011. Tobacco incidents per R-rated movie rose from 26% to 27.8%, the report said (link). The findings were based on data collected by the anti-smoking group Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails.

Researchers found that some of the films with the most smoking were period movies such as “The Help,” “Midnight in Paris” and “Hugo.” Others were fantasy films, including PG-13-rated “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” which were aimed at youths.

The study recommends that state and local health departments work with policymakers to limit eligibility for movie subsidies to tobacco-free productions. The report also suggests modernizing the movie rating system to give movies with any tobacco use an R rating.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn