SHORT REPORT
The use of tobacco in online trailers of top-grossing movies
 
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Department of Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, United States
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Christopher M. Seitz   

Department of Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences, 1179 State Farm Road, Boone, North Carolina 28608, United States
Publish date: 2019-07-01
Submission date: 2019-04-30
Final revision date: 2019-06-03
Acceptance date: 2019-06-12
 
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(July):23
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Introduction:
Images of tobacco use in movies have been studied extensively, showing that smoking in movies can cause the initiation of smoking among young people. Tobacco use in movie trailers, however, has not been monitored to the extent of full-length films. As such, the purpose of this study was to assess how many online trailers from top-grossing movies contain images of tobacco use, and to estimate audience exposure to those depictions.

Methods:
A total of 964 trailers from the top-grossing movies of 2010-16 were located on YouTube and analyzed for the number of tobacco ‘incidents’ (tobacco went off screen and on screen, a different actor had tobacco, or a new scene contained tobacco). Audience exposure was measured through ‘impressions’, by multiplying each trailer’s number of incidents by the number of times the trailer was viewed.

Results:
From 2010 to 2016, the trailers from top-grossing movies increased in: total per cent of tobacco incidents (16% in 2010 vs 21% in 2016), total number of incidents (69 in 2010 vs 102 in 2016), and tobacco impressions (89 million in 2010 vs 725 million in 2016).

Conclusions:
A considerable number of online movie trailers contain incidents of tobacco use, with a noteworthy exposure to those incidents. As such, tobacco use in movie trailers should be monitored to the same extent as full-length movies, and public health professionals should advocate for age-verification restrictions to movie trailers that contain tobacco incidents and that anti-smoking advertisements be shown before trailers containing any incidents.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We acknowledge the work of Smokefree Movies at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), Center for Tobacco Control.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
The authors have completed and submitted the ICMJE Form for Disclosure of Potential Conflicts of Interest and none was reported.
FUNDING
There was no source of funding for this research.
AUTHORS' CONTRIBUTIONS
C.M.S. conceived the idea of the study. C.M.S., M.C. and J.Y. collected, analyzed, and interpreted the data. C.M.S. drafted the work and M.C. and J.Y. revised it critically. C.M.S., M.C. and J.Y. gave final approval of the work and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work.
PROVENANCE AND PEER REVIEW
Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
 
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