BehindtheSmokeScreen Tobacco, films and children a presentation by
Our worst serial killer ! Tobacco smoking in Australia causes.... • 19,000 deaths a year • 80% of all drug-related deaths • More deaths than car accidents, illicit drugs, alcohol, AIDS, murder, suicide, diabetes, breast & skin cancer... COMBINED! • Massive illness, disability & suffering • National cost of $21 billion a year Aust Inst of Health & Welfare 2002
Smoking and children In Australia (2002)… • 14% of secondary students (205,000) smoked at least weekly • 25% of 17-year-olds smoked at least weekly • 90% of all adult smokers start smoking as children • Kids can move quickly from experimentation to regular smoking and addiction
The tobacco industry plan • Targeting children “23% of the population is 15 years of age and under. 17% is 16-24... Given predisposition to try/adopt new brands,this segment represents significant market opportunity... Overall objective: Position Marlboro as a ‘cult’ brand – to attract new smokers.” Marlboro marketing strategy in Australia, 1990 • Using films “Most of the strong, positive images for cigarettes and smoking are created by cinema and television. We have seen the heroes smoking in ‘Wall St’, ‘Crocodile Dundee’ and ‘Roger Rabbit’. Mickey Rourke, Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn are forever seen, both on and off the screen, with a lighted cigarette... If branded cigarette advertising is to take full advantage of these images, it has to do more than simply achieve package recognition – it has to feed off and exploit the image source.” Philip Morris market research study, 1989
Evidence of encouragement Seeing smoking in films encourages children to smoke. The evidence: • Adolescents exposed to film smoking are almost 3 times more likely to smoke Dalton et al, 2003, The Lancet • Non-smoking teens whose favourite stars smoke on screen 16 times more likely to view smoking favourably Tickle et al, 2001, Tobacco Control • Several other studies
Film smoking: on the rise Despite the “end” of official tobacco promotion around 1990… • More smoking in films in 2000 than in the 60s – 9 out of 10 Hollywood filmsKacirk & Glantz, Tobacco Control, 2001 • Smoking in popular youth-oriented films up 50% since 1998 – 82% contain smoking, 83% of these associate tobacco with positive attributesMassachusetts Public Interest Research Group, 2002
Philip Morris for an Oscar? Marlboro (Philip Morris’ top brand): • 28 appearances in big films in the last decade – more than any top star • More appearances (and more deaths) than Oscar-winner Hannibal Lecter!
Oz-screened films In the 13 top-grossing teen-popular films of 1999/2000: • 62% had at least one tobacco scene; average 4 scenes per film • A high % of visual smoking incidents connected tobacco with at least one plus (enjoyment, attractiveness, glamour, power etc.) • Few showed smoking as unappealing, unattractive or unacceptable Clarkson/Watson/Donovan/Giles-Corti, Uni of WA (2002, unpublished)
Who profits from the youth SmokeScreen? • Each year, $167m revenue from tobacco sales to underage Australians • Tobacco industry clears $1.14m profit • Government gets more than $100m revenue Cancer Council Vic survey 2002 • Film industry gets box office, contras etc
What could we do about it? • Mandatory counter-advertising campaign • require anti-tobacco counter-ads to be played before every screening of youth-rated films depicting smoking • Statement by film-makers • in credits, saying no-one has accepted tobacco inducements • Support tougher legislation • prohibition on tobacco ads (TAP Act) should include clearer ban on inducements to promote smoking or tobacco products • excessive smoking could attract tougher classification • Reduce smoking content at source • writers, producers, directors – refuse tobacco inducements; • think creatively about alternatives to smoking scenes, brand ID
Counter-ads can help US study of 800 9th-graders showed: • Running an anti-smoking ad before a film showing smoking has “immunising” effect against glamourisation • Schoolkids seeing the anti-ads maintain their negative reactions to underage smoking Pechman/Shih, Uni of California 1997
Who cares? Organisations acting to reduce youth harm from smoking include: ANYPAT (Australian Network on Young People and Tobacco) Contact: Candy Fleming ph. (08) 8291-4143 firstname.lastname@example.org ASH (Action on Smoking and Health) Australia Contact: Stafford Sanders ph. (02) 9334-1823 email@example.com The Cancer Council NSW Smoking in Movies webpage at www.cancercouncil.com.au/editorial.asp?pageid=1409 AMA, Heart Foundation, Quit, Health Departments …. How about YOU ?