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Smoking in movies: Impact on European youth and policy options [Smoking in movies] [20081202] - Project
General objectives

1) To quantify smoking in European movies and assess its association with smoking among European adolescents. 2) To analyse current policies in all Member States with regard to smoking in movies, and to develop policies to reduce exposure to smoking in movies that can be applied at the local, national, EU, and international levels (WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control).

Strategic relevance and contribution to the public health programme

Tobacco marketing is linked with youth smoking initiation. Therefore, most Member States have introduced a ban on tobacco marketing. However, a comprehensive ban on tobacco marketing would not limit entertainment media from projecting billions of favourable images of smoking to adolescents in the EU. The focus of this proposal is to incorporate smoking in movies into the European anti-tobacco strategy. Tobacco in film is part of the work plan 2008; thus, the current proposal clearly addresses this work plan priority.

Methods and means

: 1) Current policies on smoking in movies (e.g., whether movie smoking figures into the movie rating system) in all Member States will be described and analysed. 2) A content analysis of films released in European cinemas will be conducted. From 6 EU countries, a representative sample of top movies (250 per country) will be analysed with regard to smoking. 3) A population estimate of movie smoking exposure in European adolescents will be carried out, based on the results of a survey of 13800 European students recruited in 6 EU countries. 4) A follow up survey will be conducted one year later to investigate the impact of smoking in movies on current smoking and smoking initiation among baseline never smokers. 5) Based upon findings of these studies, policy options will be developed.

Expected outcomes period

1) Increased knowledge on the amount and effect of smoking in movies on smoking in European youth. 2) Policy options at local, regional, EU, and international level to address the problem.

Start date: 01/01/2009
End date: 01/01/2012
Duration: 36 month(s)
Current status: Finalised
Programme title: Second Programme of Community action in the Field of Health 2008-2013
EC Contribution: € 517 645,27