Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

February 19, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Three metrics are used to track smoking in movies overall, by rating and by company:
 
                • percentage of films with smoking;
                • tobacco incidents per movie (average for all movies and for movies with smoking);
                • in-theater tobacco impressions (an index of total exposure from all movie platforms).

Observations for 2013 and 2014 data
 
• The share of PG-13 movies with smoking (47%) has not changed substantially since 2010, hovering between 40-50%. However, the share of R-rated films with smoking (61%) was the lowest observed since at least 2002.
 
• The average number of tobacco incidents in 2014 PG-13 films, smoking and smokefree, tied for the highest level in a decade (19 incidents per film). The 2014 PG-13 movies with smoking averaged more smoking incidents (42) than since at least 2002.
 
• Youth-rated (G/PG/PG-13) movies delivered 57% of all in-theater tobacco impressions in 2014, about average since 2002 but well above the historic low, in 2010 (35%).
 

February 18, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Several people have asked for information how much smoking is in Oscar nominated movies this year.  My colleague Jonathan Polansky assembled the data, which is available in a downloadable Excel spreadsheet here.
 
The 2014 set of Oscar-nominated films is somewhat of a departure from recent Oscar years when Oscar-nominated films typically were smokier than movies as a whole. While there are no fewer Oscar-nominated smoking films in absolute numbers, the percentage with smoking is lower.
 
Nominated films are a small subsample of each year's 140-160 top-grossing films and are skewed toward R-rated films for a host of reasons including adult interest and studio campaigns to secure nominations for smaller "prestige" films in hopes of boosting their box office and ancillary rights revenue.
 
More nominated films have been "biographical" films in the last couple years. But in 2014, fewer of these films included smoking. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, 100% of nominated "biographical" films included tobacco imagery.  In 2014 it was 75% (6/8).
 

February 18, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

NOTE:  This comment was originally posted on Wed, 2015-02-18 20:33, but was inadvertently deleted.  I have now restored it.
 
On January 7, 2015, Saul Shiffman and colleagues published "The impact of flavor descriptors on nonsmoking teens’ and adult smokers’ interest in electronic cigarettes" in the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research.  This paper, reported work funded by the NJOY e-cigarette company, concluded that "The e-cigarette flavors tested appealed more to adult smokers than to nonsmoking teens, but interest in flavors was low for both groups."
 
This is an important conclusion for the e-cigarette industry, which has been challenged by evidence that flavors attract kids to e-cigarettes. 
 

February 18, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Our latest Smokefree Movies ad ran in Variety on February 17, 2015 and will run in Hollywood Reporter on February 25, 2015.  It introduces and supports the grassroots campaign for Smokefree Moves, ignited by Reality Check New York and the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies, 

The text of the ad (large copy) reads:
 
One little picture can make a difference, too.
 

February 16, 2015

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

This is a must-see video, since it takes arcane details of international trade and translates it into English.  Watch it on YouTube here.
 
For a more academic discussion of how the pending Trans Pacific Partnership will help Big Tobacco and other corporate interests fight public health, environmental, and other public interest actions, take a look at our paper "Health preemption behind closed doors: trade agreements and fast-track authority."   (If you cannot access the full text email me and I will send a PDF.)
 
Another good paper on these issues written by a trade lawyer is available here.
 
These issues are very important because President Obama and the Republicans have identified trade as an area for cooperation (and the Republican leadership in Congress has aggressively supported tobacco companies on trade issues).

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