Hollywood cuts back on cigarettes

Study: number of smoking scenes in movies has dropped

Hollywood has made progress when it comes to showing fewer smokers in movies, according to a report.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report Thursday showing that scenes of smoking in high-grossing films fell to 1,935 incidents last year, down 49% from the recent peak of 3,967 in 2005, according to the New York Times.

The study defined an incident as the use or implied use of a tobacco product by an actor, with a new incident occurring each time a tobacco product went off-screen and then came back or a different actor was shown using tobacco.

Critics have long pushed Hollywood to snuff the smoke out of films, arguing that young viewers use their favorite actors and film characters as role models. Until recently, even entertainment conglomerates' annual shareholder meetings tended to bring out anti-smoking activists who would ask CEOs for a commitment to depict less cigarette use on the big screen.

The study estimated that 30 billion-60 billion in-theater tobacco "impressions" were delivered annually from 1991 to 2001. The figure dropped to about 17 billion last year. One "impression" was defined as one person seeing one smoking incident.
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