Tobacco use is still prevalent in films
- By: Siân Knight
Tobacco use in films is still wide- spread despite a voluntary ban on cigarette promotion being adopted in Hollywood, accord- ing to a study published in the Lancet in January (2001;357:2932). Eighty five per cent of the top 25 grossing blockbusters between 1988 and 1997 featured tobacco, while 28% of the movies showed distinct tobacco branding.
“The increase in smoking on TV and in movies counters the education efforts in schools,” says Shelly Huff of the American Cancer Society. “You'll find actors like Bruce Willis defusing a bomb with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. Arnold Schwarzenegger…was the president's fitness expert [and was] posing on the cover of maga- zines with a big cigar in his mouth. That sends contradictory messages to kids. These are their heroes.”
Tobacco product placement was voluntarily banned in 1989, but it was not only the studios that were involved in branding deals. Actors