Cigarettes, pipes, tobacco threads and catchy smoking gestures that are usually seen on China’s TV screens, have increased as an evident concern for many supporters of tobacco control.
While checking several Chinese television channels, Xinhua reporters detected 49 screen shots of smoking from four TV series that were shown from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Some of those scenes last less than one second while others went on more than five seconds. However, these data were only a small part of the whole picture.
The China Association on Tobacco Control (CATC) published a report after checking 40 domestic Chinese movies and 30 local TV series.
The findings of the given report showed that smoking scenes appeared in 31 movies, with an average of 15 screen shots, while on TV were found 28 series, with an average of 85 screen shots.
“Smoking scenes on TV can’t be fully considered as tobacco advertisements, because they can misinform adolescents and leave them without a genuine understanding as to what hazard tobacco is responsible for,” Yang Gonghuan, director of the National Office for Tobacco Control, stated at the conference.
“A drop in such screen shots will be very good first of all for protection of teenagers from tobacco,” Yang said.
A recent survey conducted by the Beijing Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which was lead among 11,000 school students, over 40 % of the surveyed students believed that smoking could make actors look cool and mature, while about 60% of the students were in favor of didn’t oppose to smoking scenes on screen.
Probably the most disturbing thing in this situation is that the smoking attitude of the figures on screen could attract the young people to try smoking and be cool as their idols.
According to a Beijing Municipal CDC survey, about 32.87% of the school students would like to try smoking after seeing their favorite actors smoking on the screen. 60% of students stated that they could follow the fashion, mostly if the actor who smokes on TV is a superstar.
Apart from appearing in movies and TV series, tobacco products are advertised in a very strange form. Particular China’s tobacco brands, as for example Hongta, are promoting their brand images by advertisements that didn’t indicate tobacco, but simply the brand names.
The CATC announced that it has moved forward a proposal to Chinese government officials requiring creation of films and TV series without smoking scenes and prohibiting all forms of product advertisement.
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