Smoking in movies lead to people taking it up

SmokingAs compared to anti-tobacco campaigns, more expenditure is done on subsidizing American films that contain smoking scenes, according to health experts.

About £338m of tax credits in Britain between 2003 to 2009 went to US-produced films with imagery promoting tobacco use, according to researchers at Imperial College London.

If out of the total budget of a film, more than a quarter is spent in Britain then foreign film-makers receive 16 per cent tax relief against their British production costs.

Christopher Millett, from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London said, “In the period we looked at, the government gave £48m a year in tax credits to American films that feature smoking, almost all of which were rated suitable for children and adolescents. By comparison, the government spent £23m a year on mass media anti-smoking campaigns.”

As compared to people who are not much exposed to tobacco imagery films, those who are exposed are more likely to be heavy smokers.

Following this it was passed by the World Health Organization, WHO, that an adult rating should be given to films that have scenes of smoking.