Is Smoking Cool?
Cigarettes have been around forever and seems the product doesn't always seem to be portrayed correctly. Maybe not on purpose, but maybe it is on purpose. Have you ever noticed how some people act when they take a long drag of a cig on screen? Usually it is portrayed as something cool to do after something of importance took place, or when something major is about to happen. Why? Because the movies want the actors and actresses to look "cool".
From kid to young adult these ages of people are extremely impressionable. So seeing a movie star that everyone knows as "good-looking" and has lots of money and fame smoking cigarettes can, has and will lead young people to smoking. Even though there is so much information about how bad smoking is for you there are still people that see stars like Leonardo and Travolta smoking will think that is the "cool" or "in" thing to be doing.
The surgeon general had something to say about smoking and movies in 2012 and it was, "The evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people." -US Surgeon General
Leonardo Dicaprio is a huge movie star that has had several photo shoots and movies with him smoking cigarettes. Now everybody knows that smoking is a bad habit that can kill you, so why would people promote this? If you ask me, it's all about the money. Leo took many parts as a younger kid that smoked and that definitely had an impact on other young people that looked up to him as a role model.
He not only smoked but was a serious badass. The infamous James Bond in several flicks always got his way, the girl and lit up a smoke after he was all done. If that doesn't have major implications than I don't know what does. The guy who can get whoever and whatever he wants has a smoke break with his favorite pack of cigarettes.
Most Bonds Smoked
The New York Post did a small story on how recent studies show that smoking in the movies is on the rise again in 2016 after it was on a decline from 2011 to 2016-17. One shocking study is that 37% of kids start smoking because they saw it in movies and are led to believe that it will make them cool. This is because that what the big movie stars do and they are shown as cool and having a lot of money.
Even if you haven't watch it, everyone has heard of "La La Land". In this musical film it is said to have close to 35,000,000 tobacco impressions. From 2002-2006 six out of ten movies released pg-13 and up had cigarette or tobacco use of some sort. These movie stars will do most anything for a roll, and if smoking is one of the things they must do, they usually still take it.
Grease is one of the most notable and well known flicks of all time, it was an instant classic and still is watched by many to this day. Also, there was a whole lot of smoking going on. This movie started out as a play and many people have confirmed that the cigarettes they used on stage were fake. Never the less people still saw that these famous people were smoking and led them to believe that is part of the cool look you need to have fame and fortune.
Yet another big name movie star smoking for the part he accepted to play. Even after all these warnings and information of how bad smoking is people take these roles still. Brad Pitt is one of the biggest movie stars of yesterday and today, everyone knows him from movies like Oceans Eleven to Inglorious Bastards to Fight Club. The movie Fight Club has several scene where Pitt is seen smoking cigarettes with his shirt off.
His muscular tone and definition followed by his badass actions and fighting skills makes him out to be what everyone wants to be, a cool cat who his strong and can beat people up then take a long haul of a cigarette.
According to the US National Library of Medicine you are three times more likely to start smoking as a teenager if you have high exposure to movies where there is smoking. In 2009 70% of movies made had characters smoking. In 2001 it was found that there was a strong relation between adolescents (grades 5-8) in northern New England viewing smoking and starting smoking.
Most movies have stars that are attractive and appealing to watch and listen to, so it would make sense for subtle marketing purposes to have these people light up a cigarette and look "cool" while doing so. There have been studies that prove there is a correlation between people smoking in movies and people starting smoking. So what is there to do? Well, for starters if everyone listened to what the facts say and not what famous people say or imply to do then not a whole lot of people would be smoking. The America we live in is extremely idealistic and needs those role models to look up to even if they don't always have the best thing to show off.