Media Advisory: Smoking in the Movies

By Elizabeth Fernandez

WHAT: New findings published by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention monitoring the movie industry’s progress toward the international public health goal of eliminating smoking from youth-rated films. A panel of experts, including the study’s lead author, Stanton Glantz, PhD, of UCSF, will discuss the report in a telephone conference call and online meeting.

WHEN: The embargo lifts on the study in the CDC’s weekly journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on Thursday, July 14, 2011 at noon ET.  

The conference call and online meeting will take place Thursday, July 14 at 1 p.m. (EST).

HOW: Participant dial-in number: 866-781-0989

International dial-in number: 706-679-4499

Conference ID#: 82955222

To join the online meeting, go to:

Meeting Number: 591 706 211

Password: newreport

WHY: This is the first report comparing differences in onscreen smoking by motion picture companies. Images of smoking are still prominent in movies, including those promoted to the young. The National Cancer Institute has concluded that exposure to smoking in movies leads to youth smoking. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a strategic plan to reduce tobacco use which includes reducing youth exposure to onscreen smoking.   

Some studios have adopted policies to reduce tobacco use in their movies -- major studios account for the vast majority of smoking seen on screen by youth. Pediatricians have called movie smoking “the single biggest media risk to young people.’’


  • Lead author Stanton Glantz, UCSF professor of medicine, director of the Smoke Free Movies Project based at UCSF.
  • Ursula E. Bauer, PhD, MPH, director of the CDC’s National Health Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.

The event is organized by Legacy, a national public health foundation that develops programs on the health effects of tobacco use, particularly among vulnerable groups.

COPY: For a copy of the study, contact Joel London, [email protected], 770-488-5493.