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Trevor Haché, Non-Smokers’ Rights Association

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Presentation on theme: "Trevor Haché, Non-Smokers’ Rights Association"— Presentation transcript:

1 Trevor Haché, Non-Smokers’ Rights Association
Smoking in the Movies: One of the tobacco industry’s 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
Signed, sealed and delivered: “big tobacco” in Hollywood, Lum, Polansky, Jackler, Glantz. Tobacco Control. 2008 Figure 2 Hollywood movie stars and directors endorse Lucky Strike cigarettes. A. Al Jolson, the famous actor/singer star of the first talking picture, The Jazz Singer (1927), appeared in this 1928 advertisement endorsing Lucky Strike as an alternative to fattening sweets. In smaller print, the studio tie-in states, ‘‘Al Jolson, as he appears in Warner Bros Vitaphone success, ‘‘The Singing Fool [1928]’’’’. This advertisement belonged to the ‘‘Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet’’ campaign in 1928–1929. B. King Vidor, a prominent film director, endorsed Lucky Strike cigarettes for their soothing qualities in this 1927 ‘‘Precious Voice’’ campaign advertisement. Vidor’s testimonial includes tie-in for his movie, The Big Parade (1925). C. Betty Compson, a successful actress who made the crossover to sound, endorsed Lucky Strike (commonly known as ‘‘Luckies’’) in this 1928 advertisement in the ‘‘Cream of the Crop’’ series. Compson’s testimonial describes the relief she gets from smoking Luckies, which she always has on hand ‘‘on the set’’.

4 Brief history of smoking in film
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 It corresponded with the beginning of the first sound films, The Jazz Singer (1927) 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 Notes from Jonathan Polansky: “The "light two" business in this film was actually picked up from an earlier Davis film.” >> Re Now Voyager, both Paul Henreid and Bette Davis had promotional contracts with tobacco companies during their careers, and Liggett later had Henreid strongly imply, in a radio commercial, that the brand being smoked in Now, Voyager was Chesterfield.     Three-quarters of top box office stars in the late 1930s and 40s had tobacco contracts with one or a succession of companies at some time during their careers. From… In Bette Davis’s “best-known ciggie break, at the end of Now, Voyager, Paul Henreid lights two butts at once—one for him, one for her—a romantic gesture and the closest the two get to consummating their love.” Smoke Screens: How Hollywood really made cigarettes cool. By David Segal. Updated Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007.

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 Notes from Jonathan Polansky: “The "light two" business in this film was actually picked up from an earlier Davis film.” Bette Davis and Paul Henreid Now, Voyager

8 Brief history of smoking in film
Few people in the world are able to influence non-media savvy minds as well as movie stars. Their ability to make things look cool, including smoking, cannot be overstated. Rebel Without a Cause, starring James Dean, 1955

9 Brief history of smoking in film
“It’s 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 ( )

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 Paramount’s Reaching for the Sun, in ad from Better Homes & Gardens magazine in 1942 Various marketing deals existed between cigarette manufacturers and movie studios

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 Various marketing deals existed between cigarette manufacturers and movie studios

12 Brief history of smoking in film
Over time cigarettes became a versatile form of shorthand for movie makers, “underscoring the venality of outlaws…” Slate magazine recently reported on this in a slideshow Smoke ScreensHow Hollywood really made cigarettes cool. By David SegalUpdated Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 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 Feeling trapped or joyfully free, smoke a cigarette! Quote from Slate magazine: Smoke ScreensHow Hollywood really made cigarettes cool. By David SegalUpdated Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007 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 “How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood” Notes from Jonathan Polansky: The issue of paid endorsements was repeatedly taken up by the US federal Trade Commission from the 1920s onward, but the tobacco companies stayed a step ahead of regulators, exploiting loopholes.    (Product placement was not a feature of tobacco in Hollywood prior to TV, because product placement of all kinds was banned by the film industry itself from the 1930s into the 1950s. After broadcast ads for tobacco were banned in the US in 1970, the tobaco companes went back to Hollywood and started buying placement.)        In the 1980s and 1990s, the American Medical Association and others first got hold of documentary evidence of paid product placement and undertook a campaign to ban the practice.      This campaign (which included well-funded but futile efforts to reduce tobacco incidence in films by educating Hollywood creatives about the harm from tobacco imgery on screen) culminated in the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between domestic arms of the big tobacco companies and state Attorneys General — yet tobacco incidence on film continued to increase after (Film and tobacco are both multinational businesses, so a US-limited ban on payola couldn't work.)     THAT is why Stan Glantz and others renewed the attack in 2002, with a new wave of international health research, policy development and advocacy. This is not a new issue. We are coming to the end-game of a twenty-five long battle to overcome the lies and evasions of the tobacco and film industries and resolve this once and for all.

15 Product placement Left: Olivia Newton-John in Grease
Above: Betty Boop in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with Camel cigarettes Right: The Muppet Movie All examples above are of films that have been reported to feature Philip Morris product placement. “How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood”

16 Product placement Superman II (1980)
How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood. “This letter confirms the agreement that has been reached between our two companies whereby we have agreed to include in our feature film currently entitled “SUPERMAN II” (the Film) exposure of the Marlboro brand name (the Material).” 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) “How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood” Following information direct quote from: Accessed 29 Jan 2010 Gadget: Lark Cigarettes Status: Destroyed Description: This pack of Lark cigarettes doubles as the trigger Bond uses to detonate the Dentonite plastic explosive. Gadget: Dentonite Toothpaste Status: Used Description: Inside this tube of Dentonite toothpaste is a powerful plastic explosive. Bond uses it in his attempted assassination of Sanchez. Interesting trivia: First and only Bond movie to have a Surgeon General's warning. Near the beginning of the closing credits, there is a box featuring the same warning that is on a pack of cigarettes. Jonathan Polansky: “The "warning" at the end of the film was inserted by the studio because news had already leaked about the Lark deal and it was being looked into by [the U.S.] Congress. The studio hoped this would ward off regulation.”

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 Mekemson, Glantz in a 2002 paper published in Tobacco Control in 2002, titled “How the tobacco industry built its relationship with Hollywood”

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 industry’s voluntary restrictions on product placement” (Mekemson, Glantz 2002)

20 The situation today

21 The situation today 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 … in general population smoking is disproportionately high amongst those with lower level of education and/or lower socio-economic status.

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. See also Cameron Diaz’s portrayal of the character Maggie in the 2005 film In Her Shoes. 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 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, Recently, tobacco depictions in films have been declining, but they are still very high. This could be due to some studios starting to get the message. For example, in 2009, Viacom had zero smoking in its youth-rated films ( while Disney had smoking in 20% of its youth-rated films ( Reuters news story on U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report: 19 August "The results of this analysis indicate that the number of tobacco incidents peaked in 2005, then declined by approximately half through 2009, representing the first time a decline of that duration and magnitude has been observed," the team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of California San Francisco and elsewhere wrote. "However, nearly half of popular movies still contained tobacco imagery in 2009, including 54 percent of those rated PG-13, and the number of incidents remained higher in 2009 than in 1998," they added in the CDC's weekly report on death and illness.

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 Hollywood’s 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 became addicted to tobacco industry products due to exposure to on-screen smoking, of whom 43,000 will eventually die of tobacco-caused diseases First bullet: C Millett and SA Glantz, “Assigning an ‘18’ rating to movies with tobacco imagery is essential to reduce youth smoking (editorial),” Thorax 2010; 65(5): Second bullet:

32 The situation today Worse - Canadian tax dollars helped make this happen Tobacco Vector estimated that, over the past five years, Canada’s 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 Rate new smoking movies “R” (‘18A’ in Canada) Require producers and studios to certify no payoffs Require strong anti-smoking ads 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 What about next steps?

39 Thank you! Any questions?

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