Depictions of smoking in top-grossing U.S. films decreased by about half between 2005 and 2009, but more than 50 percent of PG-13 movies still show characters lighting up, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Bloomberg News reported Aug. 20 that adolescents who are more frequently exposed to onscreen smoking "are 2.0 to 2.7 times more likely to try cigarette smoking in the future," citing a 2008 National Cancer Institute monograph.
Despite this, "54 percent of PG-rated movies still have smoking in them," said Stanton Glantz, Ph.D., lead author of the CDC report and professor of medicine at the University of California San Francisco.
The CDC recommended further restrictions on tobacco in films, such as assigning R ratings to movies that depict onscreen smoking.
Other restrictions recommended by the CDC included requiring anti-tobacco ads in movies that depict smoking, prohibiting on-screen display of tobacco brands, and requiring producers to certify that no one associated with a movie depicting tobacco use received compensation for it.
The full report and editorial appeared in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on Aug. 20.