NCI Study Examines Impact of Cigarettes on TV
National Cancer Institute: Casual relationship between depictions of smoking in mass media and youth smoking.
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/22/2008 7:32:00 AM
The National Cancer Institute concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the mass media and youth smoking, and that there is a causal relationship between cigarette advertising and increased tobacco use.
"The total weight of evidence from cross-sectional, longitudinal and experimental studies indicates a causal relationship between exposure to depictions of smoking in movies and youth smoking initiation," the NCI said in a just-released review of the current evidence on the affects of media on smoking.
The NCI pointed primarily to movies, but also said smoking depictions can be found in 20% of TV shows and 25% of music videos.
It added that an anti-smoking media campaign, particularly on TV, can be effective in discouraging smoking, saying, "Evidence from controlled field experiments and population studies shows that mass-media campaigns designed to discourage tobacco use can change youth attitudes about tobacco use, curb smoking initiation and encourage adult cessation."
The report put in several plugs for the Fairness Doctrine, pointing out that it was the "successful application" of that doctrine to cigarette advertising in the late 1960s that launched TV anti-smoking efforts.
But TV's power is also used to help thwart tobacco controls, with the report talking of the use of TV, radio and print campaigns by the tobacco industry to thwart ballot initiatives for tobacco-control legislation.
Years ago, I made a point of watching tv programs to see the amount of ciggarette use portrayed in tv shows.
I was astounded to learn that major tobacco companies have stock in various tv networks....I was also in touch with the american lung association who showed me just how that information came to be available.
The events of close up shots of lips, blowing smoke, red lipstick on the filters, hunky guys with cigs in mouths, the association of action, violence, romance eating....are you getting the picture ?...These days it seems to be all comming back again,,,,just watch prime time tv,,,, lots of shots of tobacco use, close ups of cigs, all the associations meant to convince us that everyone still smokes... Oh, and don't forget the Sci Fi shows...it's the year 2090 or so, and everyone still smokes ....
Romeo G - 8/30/2010 7:34:42 PM EDT
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