Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

On-screen Smoking by Movie Stars Leads Young Teens to Smoke

30.06.2004


Teenage girls who have never smoked, never even puffed on a cigarette, are far more likely to start smoking if their favorite movie star smokes in movies, according to a 3-year study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health, the most-cited public health journal.

The study’s authors conclude that on-screen smoking by popular actors is undermining public health efforts to keep children from smoking.

“We’ve heard for years that big-screen movies influence kids to smoke, and we wanted to know if that is true,” said John Pierce, Ph.D., director of the Cancer Prevention and Control Program at the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center. “Our results were very strong, showing that if the movie stars smoke, especially in romance films, they are effectively encouraging young girls to smoke.”



Favorite stars among girls, and movies in which they smoked were:
Brad Pitt (Legends of the Fall, Sleepers)
Sandra Bullock (In Love and War, The Net, Speed, A Time to Kill)
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Basketball Diaries, Marvin’s Room, Romeo and Juliet)
Winona Ryder (How to Make an American Quilt, Reality Bites)
Demi Moore (The Juror, Now and Then)
Drew Barrymore (Bad Girls, Batman Forever, Boys on the Side, Mad Love).

Favorite stars among boys, and movies in which they smoked were:
Pamela Anderson (Barb Wire, Best of Pamela Anderson)
Sandra Bullock (In Love and War, The Net, Speed, A Time to Kill)
Demi Moore (The Juror, Now and Then)
Sharon Stone (Casino, Diabolique, Intersection, The Quick and the Dead, The Specialist).

As part of the 1996 California Tobacco Survey – a random telephone survey of households in California – the researchers asked approximately 3,000 12-to-15-year-olds who had never smoked to name their favorite male and female screen actors. One-third of those surveyed named actors who smoked in the movies.

The researchers then ranked the top 10 favorite actors separately for male and female adolescents. All the films featuring these stars in the three years before the survey (1994-96) were viewed and classified according to whether or not the star smoked on-screen. Taking a conservative approach, the researchers considered only the films of the most nominated stars, and did not identify a star as smoking on-screen unless the star smoked in two separate movies in the three-year period.

“These criteria would be expected to significantly underestimate exposure levels and to bias the analysis toward finding no effect of on-screen smoking among movie stars,” the authors wrote.

Still, girls whose favorite star smoked on-screen were 80 percent more likely to smoke by the time of the follow-up interview than their counterparts whose favorite star did not smoke on-screen. This finding was reached after researchers accounted for other independent predictors such as peer smoking, tobacco advertising and promotions, and parental disapproval of smoking.

After similar analyses to identify independent predictors among boys, the researchers found little change attributable to on-screen smoking.

“The lack of this effect among boys, we believe, is associated with movie genre preferences,” Pierce said. “Girls tend to like romance movies, where smoking is common. Boys prefer action films, which contain lower levels of star smoking.”

Pierce added that the timeframe of the study also might have played a role. In 1996, the period covered by this study, the tobacco marketing strategy of using promotional items was at its peak. Boys in the study proved much more receptive than girls to this marketing practice, which may have overshadowed the influence of on-screen smoking. In 1998, the tobacco industry agreed to discontinue this type of marketing as part of a settlement of lawsuits with State Attorneys General.

Pierce noted that earlier, in the late 1980s, the tobacco industry made another agreement with Congress: It would stop marketing cigarettes in movies (1). Tobacco industry records show that no money was spent on these activities throughout the 1990s, yet smoking in movies increased throughout that time period (2).

“This raises the question of who is responsible for the recent increases in smoking in the movies, and, particularly in light of these new study results, what actions might be necessary to discourage it in the future,” he said.

Co-authors on the study are Janet Distefan, Ph.D., formerly of the Cancer Center’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program, and Elizabeth Gilpin, M.S., currently with the Program. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program funded this study.

Founded in 1979, the Rebecca and John Moores UCSD Cancer Center is one of just 38 centers in the United States to hold a National Cancer Institute (NCI) designation as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. As such, it ranks among the top centers in the nation conducting basic, clinical and population cancer research, providing advanced patient care and serving the community through outreach and education programs.

1.SL Snyder, Movies and product placement: is Hollywood turning films into commercial speech?.
   Univ Illinois Law Review 1 (1992), pp. 301–337
2.Glantz SA, Kacirk KW, McCulloch C. Back to the future: Smoking in movies in 2002 compared with 1950 levels.
   AJPH 2004 94:261-263

Dr. Gilman | newswise
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>