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 The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

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: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>