Antismoking advocates have pressed movie makers to cut smoking from films that can be seen by kids, arguing the evidence shows Hollywood's aura encourages children to light up.
And the long-running campaign is paying off.
On-screen depictions of smoking in popular movies rated G, PG, and PG-13, dropped 72 percent to 595 in 2010 compared with 2,093 in 2010.
Filmmakers with public policies to reduce smoking in films showed the steepest declines, with a drop of 96 percent per movie over the five-year period, compared with a 42 percent reduction for the companies that didn't have published policies.
The companies weren't named in the study paper, which appears in the latest issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Associated Press reports that the three with policies to reduce smoking are:
- Time Warner (Warner Bros.);
- Comcast (Universal and Focus Features); and
- Walt Disney Company (Walt Disney Pictures, Touchstone, Pixar and Buena Vista.)
The big companies without policies are:
- News Corp. (20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight);
- Sony (Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures); and
- Viacom (Paramount Pictures, MTV Films and Marvel).
The research relied on reports from the Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!, a project to monitor tobacco use in top-grossing movies. If you're interested in the latest reviews on smoking on screen, you can find them here.
If you're looking to take the family to a smoke-free film this weekend, Mr. Popper's Penguins, Cars 2 and Green Lantern get clean scores, according to Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! On the smokier side: Super 8 and Larry Crowne.