Smoking in Chinese TV, Film

Smoking scenes are still common in Chinese movies and television dramas, according to the “2009 Report on Smoking in Chinese smoking in filmMovies and TV Dramas” released by the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control on Aug. 22.

Two hit movies – “The Message” and “The Founding of a Republic” – have both been put on the warning list. The association also sent an open letter to the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television appealing for a ban on smoking in movies and on television.

The association started compiling the annual statistics on smoking scenes in popular Chinese movies and TV dramas in 2007. According to analyses of 40 movies and 30 dramas shown in 2009, 31 movies have smoking scenes, accounting for nearly 78 percent of the total, and 28 dramas have smoking scenes, 93 percent of the total. Only nine movies and two dramas do not depict smoking at all.

Over 54 percent of the 11,000 middle school students surveyed said that they often see smoking in movies and dramas, and nearly 39 percent think that actors have shown their maturity and charm through smoking.

In addition, nearly 60 percent approve of or have no negative opinions on smoking scenes, according to a survey report released by the School Health Research Institute under the Beijing Center for Disease Control on Aug. 22.

The proportion of students who have imitated smoking by characters in movies increases from junior high schools to senior high schools to vocational high schools. Nearly 33 percent of middle school students said that they have imitated actors’ smoking behaviors, and nearly 58 percent of students in their last year of vocational high schools have imitated smoking. In addition, a certain portion of students took up smoking simply because they have seen their idols smoke.

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