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The 13th World Conference on Tobacco OR Health

Building capacity for a tobacco-free world

July 12-15, 2006, Washington, DC, USA

Thursday, July 13, 2006 - 1:30 PM

Tobacco in Movies & Impact on Youth

Hemant Goswami, NGO, Burning Brain Society, #3, Glass Office, Business Arcade,, Shivalikview, Sector 17-E,, Chandigarh, India


India ratified the FCTC in February 2004 and also enacted legislation called “Cigarette and other tobacco products Act 2003” which specifically called for an end to direct and indirect form of tobacco advertisements. Since the enactment of the legislation, the tobacco companies are prohibited from any kind of advertisement. Are the tobacco companies resorting to covert form of advertisement which included product placement in Indian movies? Are myths about tobacco use being promoted through movies


A qualitative analysis of hundred and ten movies released in 2004 and 2005 was done. All the movies were watched to identify the instances of brand visibility in Indian movies. The association of tobacco with glamour, style and emotions was also analyzed. The specific instances where statements facilitating tobacco consumption and situations where tobacco warning was mocked also recorded and noted. Response from 1126 youngsters was collected through a survey questionnaire.


Instances of showing smoking/tobacco use in movies have increased significantly.Tobacco brands now appear in 46% of movies having tobacco scenes. Association of tobacco with glamour and style has also been established. 75% of movies having tobacco also showed the main/lead character consuming tobacco. The general public does not feel that banning tobacco in the movie will affect their decision to watch movies or the quality of movies. Favourable images through mass media created a considerable influence on youngsters and increased their receptivity to tobacco use.

(The study is a part of WHO project handled by Burning Brain Society)

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