Tobacco Brands Still Common in PG-13 Movies.
As reported in the May 18, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), we analyzed the number of tobacco brand appearances in 400 movies released before the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) (1996-1999) and 400 movies released after the MSA (2000-2003). The MSA, signed by tobacco companies, prohibits them from paying for tobacco brand appearances in movies.
Part of the intent of the MSA was to reduce tobacco advertising directed towards youth, and our study demonstrates that tobacco brands are still appearing in films rated for adolescents.
"The continued presence of tobacco brand appearances in movies, whether paid or not, undermines the intent of the MSA and limits the favorable impact the MSA could have on preventing youth smoking."
Lead author Dr. Anna Adachi-Mejia
The number of movies with tobacco brand appearances (defined in the study as the depiction of a tobacco brand name, logo, or identifiable trademark) dropped from 20.8% to 10.5% of top box office films after the agreement took effect. However, the decrease was not consistent across the ratings spectrum. After 1999, the percentage of R-rated movies with tobacco brand appearances decreased by 55.4%, whereas the slight decrease in the percentage of PG-13 movies with tobacco brand appearances (15% to 11.8%) was not statistically significant.