ATLANTA — Three film companies have drastically reduced smoking in their movies aimed at children and teens, thanks in part to their policies to reduce onscreen tobacco use, a new study says.
Over the past five years, scenes involving tobacco dropped from an average of 23 to one per film for those companies and most of their youth movies had no smoking at all, the researchers reported Thursday. At movie makers without such policies, the decline was less — from an average of 18 to 10 incidents per film.
Movies are seen as very influential for kids and teens, and studies have found that sway extends to early decisions about whether to use tobacco.
An earlier study showed some success, reporting that tobacco use on the silver screen peaked in 2005 and has been on the decline since. Last year, only about 45 percent of top-grossing movies had tobacco scenes, compared to 67 percent in 2005, according to the new research.