Teens Seeing Less Tobacco in Movies, But More Alcohol

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Teens Seeing Less Tobacco in Movies, But More Alcohol

A study of top movies between 1996 and 2009 show fewer tobacco product placements, while the appearance of alcohol increased.

Scientists studied the placement and prevalence of alcohol and tobacco products in 1,400 films that were among the top 100 box-office hits in the U.S. between 1996 and 2009.

According to the researchers, smoking and the appearance of tobacco products dropped during that period, by 42.3 percent in youth rated movies and by 85.4 percent in adult rated movies, while the appearance of alcohol increased.

The scientists credit the decline in movie smoking products to the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) in 1998, which forced the tobacco industry to reign in some of its marketing tactics and fund anti-smoking advocacy groups, which also curbed the appearance of smoking in films.

However, the same wasn't true for alcohol. In fact, during the study period, it shows that alcohol brand product placement went up  in youth rated movies from 80 to 145 each year.

A 2012 analysis from six European countries states that teens who watch movies with advertisements regarding alcohol are more likely to binge drink. Still, the study didn't confirm that the drinking on screen was linked to adolescent's habits. However, researchers conclude that teens who watch drinking sceens are more likely to imitate what they see.

The study was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

Source: Science World Report