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Thursday
Aug192010

Anybody have a light? Smoking in movies is on the decline

Smoke if ya got em. Lighting up is becoming more rare in Hollywood, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oddly, Tobacco use peaked in 2005, right around the time Thank You For Smoking hit theaters. Since then, it's decline quite a bit. 

Here's how the study worked. The researchers took the top 50 films of each year from 1991-2001 and films ranked in the weekly top 10 from 2002-2009. They watched the movies and counted how many times people lit up with tobacco. The numbers peaked at almost 4,000 in 2005, but have dropped since then to about 1,935 in 2009. A possible reason: the MPAA started factoring smoking into its rating system in 2007. It rates movies more harshly if smoking is featured. 

Better still, in 2009 more than half of the 145 top movies didn't have any smoking at all, according to the study. For movies aimed at kids, tweens, and teens, the percentage was about 61. 54% of PG-13 movies showed tobacco use. These numbers come from an AP report on the study.

These are good stats, but I question why they altered the study for films released before 2001. If you don't count as many films, how can you get a consistent answer? Alas, I am no scientist. I do know that they're lucky they didn't include TV. AMC's Mad Men would single-handedly blow those statistics out of the water. Gotta love the 60s.  

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