Tobacco Free Initiative

Tobacco scenes in films and TV programmes entice young people to smoke

Image of a 60 second animated infographic on tobacco industry exploiting the silver screen to get more young people to start smoking. Children and young people are regularly exposed to scenes in which celebrities, even those known to be non-smokers, are shown unnecessarily smoking or holding unlit cigarettes or electronic cigarettes, giving the message that they are deliberately promoting tobacco. The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling on the entertainment industry to recognize the tactics employed by the tobacco industry to market and promote their deadly products through films and TV programmes.

The tobacco industry is deceptively using the entertainment industry to target young people by glamourizing tobacco use to encourage its use and initiation. The link between increased rates of tobacco use, especially among younger people, and greater promotion of tobacco use through films, drama and entertainment has been firmly established.

Movies showing use of tobacco products have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking, according to the new WHO Smoke-Free Movies Report – From evidence to action, the third edition since its launch in 2009. Taking concrete steps, including rating films with tobacco scenes and displaying tobacco warnings before films with tobacco, can stop young people around the world from being introduced to tobacco products and subsequent tobacco-related addiction, disability and death.

Read the news release: Films showing smoking scenes should be rated to protect children from tobacco addiction

Smoke-free movies: From evidence to action


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