Exposure to Onscreen Tobacco in Movies among Ontario Youth, 2004-2013


Alexey Babayan, Rita Luk, Robert Schwartz


May 2014

Type of Report

Special Report


Smoking in movies is a cause for smoking initiation and progression to regular smoking among youth. Higher exposure to onscreen tobacco increases the uptake of smoking among youth and undermines tobacco prevention efforts. This report examines the extent of onscreen tobacco exposure in movies among Ontario youth and estimates the impact of exposure to onscreen tobacco in movies on youth smoking.

It is estimated that, on average, 13,241 current smokers in Ontario aged 12-17 were recruited to smoking in a year because of watching smoking in movies. It is projected that, on average, 4,237 of these smokers will die prematurely as a result of tobacco imagery in movies. Ontario is very far behind the United States in restricting movies that depict tobacco use to adult viewers.

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