A report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found tobacco use in movies jumped up to a total of 72% from 2010 to 2016.
National Council Against Smoking's Savera Kalideen says since 2010 there has been an increase in the incidence where movie characters are using some form of tobacco such as cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookah, smokeless tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes.
One in two movies targeted children under the age of thirteen.— Savera Kalideen, Executive Director at National Council Against Smoking
In 2016, 67% of R-rated movies featured tobacco incidents, while 26% of "youth-rated movies" (G, PG or PG-13) showed the same.— Savera Kalideen, Executive Director at National Council Against Smoking
The study concludes that young people exposed to smoking in movies are two to three times likely to smoke.
This then overrides parental modeling, explains Kalideen, and the same applies to alcohol consumption.
She says in South Africa there is a law that prohibits product placement, and goes on to say that there is often a conflict of interest between the objective of making money and the objective of public health.
Harm from tobacco is paid for by the South African tax payer and the profits are earned by the tobacco industry.— Savera Kalideen, Executive Director at National Council Against Smoking
Kalideen says it is important to lobby the movies and media to have coverage that shows the public what the harm of the products may be to different groups of people.
Listen to the full interview in the clip below: