Could Hollywood Help Reduce Smoking?

Maybe, if this article in the New York Times is to be believed. It mentions that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing that scenes of smoking in high-grossing films fell to 1,935 “incidents” last year, down 49 percent from a recent peak of 3,967 in 2005.

According to the article an incident is defined “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 then came back, or a different actor was shown with tobacco”.

Considering the influence that the silver screen has over millions of people as far as fashion, trends, lifestyle and habits go, the reduction of smoking ‘scenes’ is a step in the right direction to help prevent more people from lighting up…especially the youth. It may be something small, but I think it could help.

There are even some suggestions to increase a movie’s age rating to R if it depicts any tobacco, although the Motion Picture Association of America has resisted taking this further as it is ‘unnecessary’. I have to agree.

Some classic films from the past contain the odd scene with smoking and although this isn’t ideal, the acting and cinematography were so good that I believe everyone – young and old – should enjoy the sheer entertainment value that these films deliver.

Most of the time, these ‘old’ movies have good message or theme that can inspire viewers and make them smile or laugh…which is a natural mood and health enhancer of course!

Who knows? Hollywood film makers could soon look at reducing the number of junk food in movie scenes. Sounds far-fetched I know, but I’ll keep dreaming it happens soon.

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