Movie Companies Cut Out On-Screen Smoking

A new study reveals that three movie companies have significantly reduced the on-screen depiction of smoking in movies targeted at kids and teens. This welcome development is due their adoption of policies which aim to reduce depiction of tobacco use in movies.

The three film companies which have adopted the anti-smoking policies, reduced tobacco use scenes from about 23 to one per movie over the last five years. In fact, most of their movies targeted at youth did not depict smoking at all.

Decline also occurred in movies produced by other companies which do not have any such policy. These companies reduced smoking footage from 18 to 10 scenes per film. Studies reveal that movies greatly influence children and teens to smoke cigarettes and use tobacco.

Health experts have been lobbying and influencing the movie industry to stop glamorizing smoking and tobacco use in films. Their results are bearing fruit. In 2005, about 67% of top grossers featured tobacco scenes. This reduced to 45% last year.

The three movie companies which are against on-screen smoking are Time Warner, Comcast and the Walt Disney Company. In their movies, smoking scenes have reduced by about 96% over the past five years. Most of their youth-rated movies did not feature tobacco scenes at all.

The Motion Picture Association of America has agreed to make smoking a factor while rating movies. Industry experts say anti-smoking policies pose no problems as many movies without smoking scenes have been successful at the box office.

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