May 13, 2019

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Latest Smokefree Movies ad reveals hundreds of fake smokers in Hollywood "true stories"

The latest Smokefree Movies ad has been published in The Hollywood Reporter (May 13 issue). The full-page ad reveals that most characters shown smoking in films “based on a true story” are entirely invented.


Hollywood has released a wave of kid-rated biographical dramas in recent years. Because these films contain nearly three times as much smoking as all-fiction films, they prevented the number of tobacco incidents on screen from declining, even as the number of films with smoking have dropped.


Kid-rated bio-dramas have also tripled the number of tobacco impressions delivered to moviegoers since 2015.


The proposed R-rating for on-screen smoking includes an exception for portrayals of actual, historical characters who smoked (like Winston Churchill). The annual report released by Breathe California and UCSF in April 2019 found only a handful of kid-rated bio-dramas would qualify for that exception. 


Overall, sixty-nine percent of the smokers in youth-rated bio-dramas since 2002 have been fake, including in 2018. All major studios are implicated

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