By AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION NEWS
Filmmakers are having a hard time kicking the habit, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Despite earlier declines in tobacco use in youth-rated movies, that progress has stalled since 2010.
Between 2010 and 2016, the total number of times tobacco was used in top-grossing movies increased by 72 percent, from 1,824 instances to 3,145.
Although by 2016 tobacco was used less often in films rated G and PG, there was a 43 percent increase in PG-13 films, from 564 instances to 809. R-rated movies saw a 90 percent jump in tobacco use depictions, from 1,230 to 2,332.
Smoking scenes remain prevalent despite warnings from the Surgeon General that depictions of smoking in movies can lead adolescents to take up tobacco. Adolescents who are heavily exposed to onscreen smoking are two to three times more likely to take up the habit.
According to the new report released Thursday, this backslide could warrant stricter measures to address tobacco use in movies, such as assigning an R rating to movies that depict smoking.
American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown said in a statement that without such a measure, “more young people will be put at risk of a lifetime addiction, disease and possibly an early death.”