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Streaming services flouting India’s regulations banning tobacco imagery in all media

BMJ Newsroom | BMJ (9 Apr 2020)
Stronger enforcement needed, while WHO guidelines should be updated, say researchers. Read more...

Just as tobacco advertising causes teen smoking, exposure to alcohol ads causes teens to drink

Rachel Harrison | NYU (24 Feb 2020)
[The authors] found that, in every aspect studied, the influence of tobacco and alcohol advertising on teens were analogous. For instance, both tobacco and alcohol companies have used mascots in advertisements (e.g., Joe Camel, the Budweiser frogs), which research shows are easily recognized and trusted by children. In addition, both tobacco and alcohol companies use or have used movies, television, and sporting events as opportunities for advertising and product placement, with studies showing that exposure to smoking and drinking increases the risk for youth initiation. Read more...

Pakistan health ministry wants smokefree TV

| (18 Feb 2020)
Islamabad:The Directorate of Tobacco Control of the Ministry of National Health Services has directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to instruct all television channels to immediately cleanse their dramas and programmes of smoking scenes that lure young people towards tobacco use, and to instead consider telecasting public service messages against smoking, which kills 166,000 people in Pakistan each year. [Note: Pakistan, a party to WHO's binding global tobacco control treaty, joins China, India and others opposing youth exposure to tobacco promotion in commercial entertainment media.] Read more...

Tax breaks for movies get bad reviews

Scott Cohen | CNBC (31 Jan 2020)
[R]esearcher Robert Marich said in an interview with CNBC's "American Greed." "It … depends on the stomach of the voters to essentially subsidize an industry and lower taxes for a certain select industry, which means essentially raising taxes for everyone else." Read more...

What Disney bans from its movies

Meghan Jones | Reader's Digest (30 Jan 2020)
That popular "three things are banned" rumor certainly doesn't hold up for some of Disney's major franchise properties. Read more...

How we can effectively protect teens from e-cigarette addiction

Greg Simon | Thrive Global (9 Jan 2020)
…the e-cigarette industry knows that 50 years of proving smoking causes cancer means little to an 18-year-old who doesn’t know what Vietnam was. Not to mention that smoking in movies — a topic I worked on with Vice President Gore in the ’90s — has actually gotten worse since then. Read more...


Netflix is ad free, but it isn't brand free

Tiffany Hsu | The New York Times (16 Dec 2019)
Tide Pod shout-outs onscreen. Flirtatious exchanges with companies on Twitter. Netflix may not run ads, but it has become a coveted marketing platform. [See Smokefree Movies' blog on cigarette brand display in Netflix' TV-14 "Stranger Things" fantasy series, at and our detailed September 2019 ad at — Editor] Read more...

From ‘Joker’s’ violence to ‘Little Women’s’ personal depths, directors share their visions

Mark Olsen Amy Kaufman | Los Angeles Times (9 Dec 2019)
After admitting to chain-smoking, ['Joker' director Todd] Phillips noted that his nicotine habit paled in comparison to that of [Joaquin] Phoenix, who “smokes more than Humphrey Bogart.” “I used to Juul, and I had to stop Juul-ing before I directed because I knew I wouldn’t stop,” interjected [director Greta] Gerwig, referring to the vape device. “I knew I’d be talking to an actor and Juul-ing the whole time.” Read more...

Weekly Wonder: More than double the smoking scenes in PG-13 rated top-grossing movies compared to in 2010

Anna Stjernquist | BU News Service (22 Nov 2019)
Despite the U.S. Surgeon General’s conclusion that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in movies and the initiation of smoking among young persons, on-screen smoking in movies is still increasing. Read more...

Officials say tobacco use in top-grossing movies has increased

Ronnie Das | WLNS-TV Lansing (8 Nov 2019)
One of the CDC recommendations is giving movies with tobacco incidents an R rating to eliminate tobacco product imagery from youth-rated films. Read more...