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Smoking in the Movies: One of the tobacco industrys most successful youth marketing strategies and what people are doing to fight back Trevor Haché, Non-Smokers.

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Presentation on theme: "Smoking in the Movies: One of the tobacco industrys most successful youth marketing strategies and what people are doing to fight back Trevor Haché, Non-Smokers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Smoking in the Movies: One of the tobacco industrys most successful youth marketing strategies and what people are doing to fight back Trevor Haché, Non-Smokers Rights Association September 2010

2 Overview Brief history of smoking in film Product placement 1990s & early 2000s The situation today From evidence to action Ontario action Quebec action Sean Penn at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)

3 Brief history of smoking in film

4 In 1927, tobacco industry began paying actors who smoked Arrangements were covert and denied In 1929 into the 1930s, tobacco companies misled the Federal Trade Commission re paid endorsements Joan Crawford in 1932 film Grand Hotel

5 Brief history of smoking in film Payments to actors who smoked on screen was part of a deliberate campaign by companies to popularize cigarettes among women Bette Davis in the 1939 film Dark Victory

6 Brief history of smoking in film Cigarettes were glamourized on- screen as early as 1942 in film Now, Voyager Bette Davis and Paul Henreid had promotional contracts with tobacco companies during their careers

7 Brief history of smoking in film Three-quarters of top box office stars in the late 1930s and 40s had tobacco contracts with one or more companies at some time during their careers Bette Davis and Paul Henreid Now, Voyager

8 Brief history of smoking in film Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean, 1955

9 Brief history of smoking in film Its the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it. Andy Warhol (1928-1987)

10 Brief history of smoking in film Tobacco companies saw dollar signs Off-screen association between smokes and stars became prevalent Actress Ellen Drew, star of Paramounts Reaching for the Sun, in ad from Better Homes & Gardens magazine in 1942

11 Brief history of smoking in film Chesterfield advertisement in Life magazine from 1948, featuring actor and future president Ronald Reagan star of Warner Bros. production The Voice of the Turtle

12 Brief history of smoking in film Over time cigarettes became a versatile form of shorthand for movie makers, underscoring the venality of outlaws… Cruella De Vil in 101 Dalmations

13 Brief history of smoking in film … as often as it highlighted the masculinity of heroes. Movies echoed and reinforced the themes in tobacco advertising, both the rebel loner and the popular in-crowd type Sean Connery in the 1962 James Bond film Dr. No

14 Product placement Brown and Williamson paid US $500,000 to Sylvester Stallone to smoke its cigarettes in five films

15 Product placement Left: Olivia Newton- John in Grease Above: Betty Boop in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Camel cigarettes Right: The Muppet Movie

16 Product placement Superman II (1980)

17 Product placement 1988 – Philip Morris pays $350,000 for use of Lark brand cigarettes in Licence to Kill 1989 – Philip Morris marketing study notes most strong, positive images for cigarettes and smoking are created and perpetuated by cinema and television (Mekemson, Glantz 2002)

18 1990s & early 2000s 1990 – cigarette companies modify voluntary code to prohibit paid product placement 1991 – "After falling through the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the frequency of smoking in the movies begins a rapid increase (Mekemson, Glantz 2002) 1998 – Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) prohibits participating cigarette makers from product placement activities

19 1990s & early 2000s 2000 – Average amount of smoking in movies exceeded levels observed in 1960s 2001 – Studies of films from 1990s find continuing brand use depiction in movies with about 80% of the exposures being Philip Morris products, primarily Marlboro. Identifiable brand use by high profile stars is higher than before tobacco industrys voluntary restrictions on product placement (Mekemson, Glantz 2002)

20 The situation today

21 Following 1998 MSA prohibition, smoking in movies increased About 25% of contemporary movie characters depict smoking in major films (twice as often as in 1970s and 1980s) False image: smokers on-screen tend to be of a higher socio-economic class than the reality found in smoking population

22 The situation today Research examining prevalence has accumulated, U.S. National Cancer Institute reviewed it in 2008 and concluded: "The depiction of cigarette smoking is pervasive in movies, occurring in three-quarters or more of contemporary box-office hits."

23 The situation today However prevalent smoking is in films, movies rarely portray accurately the long-term health consequences of an addiction to cigarettes. Gene Hackman as William B. Tensy in 2001 film Heartbreakers, rated AA in Canada and PG13 in U.S.

24 The situation today Analysis of 1,769 films released from 1991-2008 established that: –Most youth exposure to on-screen smoking occurs in youth-rated films, particularly PG13. In 2008, PG13 films delivered 65% of tobacco impressions (11.7 billion of the 18.1 billion impressions) and G/PG films delivered another 1% (200 million). –The fraction of all films that are smokefree has been growing since the late 1990s, yet still remains below 50% even for youth-rated (G/PG/PG13) films. (Titus, Polansky, Glantz, Feb. 2009)

25 The situation today Tobacco incidents per film fell by about half since 2005, led by youth-rated films. Yet, total number of tobacco incidents on screen remained above levels seen in the late 1990s. Number of films with tobacco brands has, if anything, increased. Marlboro, the brand most frequently chosen by adolescent smokers, displayed most often accounting for 75% of brand display in 2008. (Titus, Polansky, Glantz, Feb. 2009)

26 The situation today In the 1990s, R-rated movies delivered 60% of impressions and youth-rated movies delivered 40%. In this decade, youth-rated movies have delivered 60% and R-rated movies 40%. (Polansky, Titus, Glantz, Feb. 2009)

27 The situation today (Titus, Polansky, Glantz, Feb. 2009)

28 The situation today Number of tobacco incidents in top-grossing movies -- United States, 1991-2009

29 The situation today Few studies specific to Canada completed Yet, vast majority of films shown here are made in the U.S., so negative health consequences associated with Hollywoods love affair with cigarettes are most definitely also taking toll here Research in Mexico, Germany, New Zealand has shown similar impacts

30 The situation today Physicians for a Smoke-free Canada report Tobacco Vector (Aug. 2010) –Canadian youth are exposed to 60% more on- screen tobacco depictions than their American counterparts because films here are routinely rated 'PG-13' or '14A', whereas those same films in the U.S. are rated 'R'. –For some reason, provincial rating agencies in Canada seldom apply 'adult' ratings to top- grossing films rated "R" in the U.S."

31 The situation today Analyzing the results of four large US studies, researchers estimate that 44% of youth smoking can be attributed to on-screen smoking exposure Applied to a Canadian content, an estimated 130,000 Canadians age 15-19 became addicted to tobacco industry products due to exposure to on-screen smoking, of whom 43,000 will eventually die of tobacco-caused diseases

32 The situation today Worse - Canadian tax dollars helped make this happen Tobacco Vector estimated that, over the past five years, Canadas provinces and the federal government granted a quarter of a billion dollars to fund Hollywood productions intended for young audiences and that featured smoking The influence of smoking in film is now especially strong since in Canada we have banned almost all other forms of promotion

33 From evidence to action Smoking in film promotes pro-smoking beliefs and intentions –in cross-sectional and experimental studies Exposure to on-screen smoking is predictive of smoking initiation –in longitudinal studies Even brief exposure to images of smoking in movies can have an effect –in experimental studies

34 From evidence to action The total weight of evidence from cross- sectional, longitudinal, and experimental studies, combined with the high theoretical plausibility from the perspective of social influences, indicates a causal relationship between exposure to movie smoking depictions and youth smoking initiation. (National Cancer Institute, Monograph 19, 2008)

35 From evidence to action California, Stan Glantz, Smoke-free Movies have been leading the fight against smoking in the movies Their four policy solutions to solve this urgent crisis have been endorsed by the World Health Organization, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

36 From evidence to action The solutions are 1.Rate new smoking movies R (18A in Canada) 2.Require producers and studios to certify no payoffs 3.Require strong anti-smoking ads 4.Stop identifying tobacco brands

37 Ontario action A coalition of health groups recently formed the Coalition for Smoke-free Movies Seeking endorsements from medical officers of health, politicians, etc. for five policy solutions In addition to four other solutions, also want to make future youth-accessible films that depict smoking ineligible for public subsidies Youth groups have been active on the file since at least 2004, met with Ontario Film Review Board, demonstrated at TIFF

38 Quebec action In 2009, launched on-line campaign to draw attention to smoking in movies, part of multi-component campaign launched in 2008 by Quebec Council on Smoking and Health to raise awareness In 2010, ran ads before films in 18 movie theatres, as well as in magazines, websites If enough public support can be generated, may push for legislative change to film rating system

39 Thank you! Any questions?

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