September 28, 2012 / Minnesota Post / — The incidence of onscreen smoking in movies increased from 2010 to 2011, ending what had been a five-year decline, according to a new study published Thursday by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.
Many of the movies with significant amounts of smoking were youth-rated films, such as the animated film “Rango” (PG) and “X-Men: First Class” (PG-13).
The study also found that film companies that have publicly declared their intentions to restrict smoking in youth-rated films were among the worst offenders.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, depictions of smoking in movies increases the likelihood that children watching those movies will take up the addictive habit themselves.
“The reversal in the previous multiyear downward trend in onscreen tobacco use that occurred from 2005 to 2010 means that movies in 2011 contributed more to promoting youth smoking than in previous years and that the motion picture industry is no longer progressing toward the goal of reducing onscreen depictions of tobacco use,” conclude the authors of the new study.
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