(from the Center for Media and Democracy)
When I worked for RJ Reynolds and BAT, my clients regularly parroted the industry line which is that cigarette advertising doesn't increase rates of smoking. "Ve are merely helping zem switch to our brands," my German BAT client Christophe would say.
Well, now it look like zey ver wrong.
This week the National Cancer Institute published an extensive, 684-page monograph that evaluates current evidence regarding the power of the media to both encourage and discourage tobacco use. NCI found that "The total weight of evidence -- from multiple studies, conducted by investigators from different disciplines, and using data from many countries -- demonstrates a causal relationship between tobacco advertising and promotion and increased tobacco use."
They also found that smoking in movies (not moviegoers, but actors in the movies, duh) causes more children to start smoking. They say that smoking in the movies is pervasive and has a causal relationship with youth initiation of smoking.
“Smoking in movies is responsible for addicting 1,080 U.S. adolescents to tobacco every day, 340 of whom will die prematurely as a result.” -- Editorial, The Lancet British medical journal, June 10, 2003
So, Brad, Denzel, Travolta, Crowe, Weinstein, Cohen, Farley, Bochco, Walkin,- think about that fellas.