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Cigarette Use in Movies Rises 72%

At first, I thought it was just because I was watching period dramas and that it lent verisimilitude to the piece to have a character smoke a cigarette, but the more frequent the occurrence, the more suspicious I became and yes, in fact it’s true: the incidences of tobacco use in movies has increased 72% according to a Center for Disease Control report issued in July 2017! And it is up 43% in the youth-focused films. Women are smoking as they sit on sofas, when they walk through the kitchen pondering. Characters are chain smoking, using cigarettes as a pause in the dialogue. Men smoke cigarettes in cars.

And the CDC again reiterated that “there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking.” Children exposed to visuals of smoking are 2 to 3 times more likely to start to smoke and I think it has an effect on adults as well.

I should time it in the next movie and see how many minutes between visions of someone lighting up. I lend my voice in protest: remove all tobacco from all forms of entertainment.

Freedom of Speech but Are We Really Free?

Recently in San Francisco there were petitioners outside the grocery store to repeal a new law in San Francisco that prohibited the sale of flavored E cigarettes. I refused to sign it and the man holding the clipboard said, “what about our freedom to choose?” My reply is that when the tobacco industry spends $5.6 billion annually on marketing, we’re not really free to make true choices.

Another disturbing phenomenon has developed regarding cigarettes: The Washington Post recently reported that while the national smoking rate “has fallen to historical lows, with just 15% of adults still smoking… the socioeconomic gap has never been bigger… Among the nation’s less educated people – those with a high school equivalency diploma – the smoking rate remains more than 40% according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Today, rural residents are diagnosed with lung cancer at rates 18 to 20 percent above those of city dwellers.”

#tobaccofreekids, #JessWells, #smoking