Chinese Group Slams 'Gone With The Bullets' for Too Much Smoking

'Gone With the Bullets' poster

Jiang Wen's blockbuster movie was awarded the "Dirty Ashtray Award" for too much tobacco.

An anti-smoking group in China, the world's biggest consumer of tobacco, has named Jiang Wen's Gone with the Bullets as the year's smokiest movie, with the 1920's-set film featuring someone smoking every 3.1 minutes.

Gone With the Bullets, which took $54 million at the box office, features 45 smoking scenes in all, and Jiang previously won the award for the movie's predecessor, Let the Bullets Fly, in 2010.

Last month France, the land of Gauloises, Gitanes and super-chic smoker Jean-Paul Belmondo, introduced tough anti-smoking rules including making it illegal to smoke inside a vehicle with a child or to smoke electronic cigarettes in workplaces.

China also has anti-smoking rules, but they are widely ignored, especially outside the main cities. There are more than 300 million smokers in China and tobacco revenues amounted to up to 10 per cent of government revenues in 2013.

In all 21 films were in contention for the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control's "Dirty Ashtray Award", with 435 scenes featuring smoking. The average amount of scenes featuring smoking was 121 seconds, with the most frequent smoking venues public areas, the workplace and home.

Of the 30 most popular Chinese films shown in China last year, 21 contained footage of smoking, and nine were given "No Smoking Scene Awards" for including no smoking footage. The number is 16.7 percent lower than 2007, and 6.7 percent higher than 2013.

The association has been monitoring smoking scenes in popular films and television series in China since 2007 and it aims to encourage celebrities to be socially responsible in reducing the number of smoking scenes they appear in, so as to prevent minors from imitating them and taking up smoking.