The first US Surgeon General warning against cigarette smoking was issued just over 50 years ago. Since that time, ample research has been published illustrating the detrimental health costs of smoking. In a global effort to reduce smoking worldwide, many attempts have been made to reduce smoking prevalence including, increasing prices and bans on advertising, promotion, sales to minors, and smoking in public places. However, smoking has resulted in almost 6 million deaths worldwide, and effects life expectancy and quality of life significantly. Since 1980, Research has shown that the prevalence of smoking has been reduced significantly, however, because of population growth, the total number of smokers has actually increased. In addition, some interesting trends have started to emerge in other areas.
Recently published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, some troubling data has been released. From 2010 to 2016, the total number of tobacco-use scenes in top-grossing movies has increased by 72% from 2010 to 2016, including a 43% increase in tobacco-use depictions PG-13 rated films. Interestingly, prior to 2010, this figure had been declining. In a 2012 report on youth smoking, the U.S. Surgeon General concluded that there is a causal relationship between smoking depictions in films and smoking initiation among children and teens.
Although it's not clear as to whether or not the film industry is pushing for cigarette placement in these films, the research is alarming and one to take note of. It is common knowledge at this point, that smoking is wildly detrimental to overall health, yet it continues to have a large social and global impact. The emerging statistics add to a growing volume of literature suggesting that smoking still holds a dangerous place in society, especially amongst our youth.
Just a little educational reality check! So, be healthy, living longer, and of course, don't smoke!