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Smoking in the Movies

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Tobacco in Youth-Rated Movies2

  • This infographic shows that 2014 youth-rated (G, PG, PG-13) movies included more smoking than the year before.
    • Incidents per movie increased 38%, from 9.9 to 13.7.
    • PG-13 movies that were tobacco-free decreased to 54% (33 of 61 movies) from 60% (36 of 60 movies).
    • Youth-rated movies delivered 10.8 billion tobacco impressions to theater audiences—essentially unchanged from 2013.
  • Performance by movie studio varied.
    • Independent movie companies together had the most incidents per youth-rated movie at 26.7.
    • The Walt Disney Company had the least, with no tobacco incidents in its youth-rated movies.
    • Independent companies delivered the largest share of youth-rated tobacco impressions at 32% (3.4 billion of 10.8 billion), followed by Sony at 19% (2 billion of 10.8 billion).
    • Time Warner contributed 4% of tobacco impressions (470 million of 10.8 billion)—a substantial decrease from 2013.
  • Most movie companies averaged more tobacco incidents in their 2014 youth-rated movies than in their 2013 movies, with substantial increases by Comcast, Fox, Sony, Viacom, and the independent companies as a group.
  • Decreases occurred at Disney (from 6.3 incidents per movie to none) and Time Warner (from 26.2 incidents to 1.6).

Tobacco Incidents in Top-Grossing Movies by MPAA Rating, 1991–20142

  • This graph shows that the total number of tobacco incidents in movies has fluctuated over more than 20 years, ranging from a low of 1,612 incidents in 1998 to a high of 3,962 incidents in 2005.
  • A 5-year reduction to 1,825 incidents reversed in 2010.
  • Overall, tobacco incidents are up 45% since 2010, from 1,825 to 2,639.
  • Movies rated G and PG accounted for 1 of every 100 (1%) tobacco incidents in 2014.
  • Movies rated PG-13 accounted for 44 of every 100 (44%) incidents, their highest share since 2008.

In-Theater Tobacco Impressions by MPAA Rating, 2002–20142

  • The number of tobacco impressions delivered to domestic theater audiences peaked in 2005 at 30.3 billion and then decreased by half over the next 5 years.
  • From 2010 to 2012, tobacco impressions delivered by PG-13 movies nearly doubled.
  • Youth-rated movies delivered 57% of all tobacco impressions in 2014, up from 39% in 2010 (10.8 billion of 19.1 billion compared with 5.5 billion of 14.2 billion).
  • Movies of all ratings delivered 19.1 billion tobacco impressions to moviegoers in 2014, down 20% from 23.7 billion in 2013 but 34% more than the 14.2 billion impressions delivered in 2010.


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