Monday, December 05, 2011

How Did Movies Affect Teen Smoking?

Smoking is undoubtedly a unwanted habit that should not be encouraged because it can cause smokers as well as people around them (through secondhand smoke) suffer chronic diseases including lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary) and erectile dysfunction. It can lead to birth defects, too.

Teens smoke for a number of reasons. Pressure among the peers and smoking habit of parents or relatives tend to influence the teens to follow suit. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, indicated that smoking among teens is somehow related to movies with tobacco.

According to their findings that were published on July 14, 2011 in the ‘Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report’, number of movies in the United States in which an actor smoked fell sharply between 2005 and 2010.

55 percent of movies that had huge box office grossing in the United States in 2010 did not have smoking scenes, compared with a third of films that scored huge box office success in 2005.

During the same 6-year period, the number of tobacco incidents in top-grossing movies fell by 56 percent, though there were still some 2,000 scenes where an actor used tobacco either openly, on screen, or implicitly, off-screen. In fact, the percentages of 2010 top-grossing movies with no tobacco incidents were the highest observed in 2 decades.

In 2010, a study released by CDC found that the percentage of middle school students in the United States who smoked fell from 11 percent to 5 percent between 2000 and 2009 and those who experimented with smoking fell from nearly 30 percent to 15 percent.

Meanwhile, use of other tobacco products like cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco was also down among middle school boys aged between 11 and 14. The smoking among high school students was also down though less sharply.

17 percent of high school students smoked cigarettes in 2009, comparing to 28 percent in 2000, while 3 in 10 high school students tried smoking 2 years ago, comparing to nearly 4 in 10 in 2000.

The drop in onscreen smoking might have contributed to the decline in smoking among middle school and high school students.


  1. Yes. I agree with you. Now-a-days there are number of smoking related scenes in many movies. It shows lot of bad effect on teenagers. So, It is better to restrict such type of scenes in those movies to save our society from smoking. Good informative post.

  2. Anonymous2:06 PM

    This blog is a great source of information for me. Thank you very much for giving me such important information.


  3. I know that many teens love watching movie as a pass time. I also know that many teens are influenced by what they are watching; I am not saying that because of movies our teens turn bad. What I am trying to say is that our teens are easily influenced especially in their stage of development. I do hope that movie makers lessen violent scenes, smoking scenes and addiction related scenes or give warning regarding the scenes to protect the welfare of our teens.