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 Self-organising system enables motile cells to form complex search pattern
07.05.2019 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht Mouse studies show minimally invasive route can accurately administer drugs to brain
02.05.2019 | Johns Hopkins Medicine

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: Successfully Tested in Praxis: Bidirectional Sensor Technology Optimizes Laser Material Deposition

The quality of additively manufactured components depends not only on the manufacturing process, but also on the inline process control. The process control ensures a reliable coating process because it detects deviations from the target geometry immediately. At LASER World of PHOTONICS 2019, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be demonstrating how well bi-directional sensor technology can already be used for Laser Material Deposition (LMD) in combination with commercial optics at booth A2.431.

Fraunhofer ILT has been developing optical sensor technology specifically for production measurement technology for around 10 years. In particular, its »bd-1«...

Im Focus: The hidden structure of the periodic system

The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified

The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...

Im Focus: MPSD team discovers light-induced ferroelectricity in strontium titanate

Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.

Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...

Im Focus: Determining the Earth’s gravity field more accurately than ever before

Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.

The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...

Im Focus: Tube anemone has the largest animal mitochondrial genome ever sequenced

Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.

The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new force for optical tweezers awakens

19.06.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

New AI system manages road infrastructure via Google Street View

19.06.2019 | Information Technology

A new manufacturing process for aluminum alloys

19.06.2019 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>