Response to new research on smoking on TV



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13 August 2018

Response to new research on smoking on TV

New study publish today in the journal Tobacco Control [1] finds the smoking content on TV is unchanged from 2010 levels [2]. The research from the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies (UKCTAS) shows the smoking remains common across prime time viewing and during some of the most popular UK programming.

There is a proven link between exposure to smoking imagery and uptake of smoking among young people regardless of the context of that imagery [3].

ASH have called on regulators to step up their game to protect young people from exposure to this imagery [4].

Responding to the findings ASH Chief Executive Deborah Arnott said:

“The number of smokers in the UK has fallen significantly since 2010 yet this research finds smoking is just as common on our screens. Given the proven link to childhood smoking Ofcom and the BBFC, which regulate TV and films, need to take the necessary steps to warn parents of the risks and protect our children from the harmful effects of tobacco imagery.”

ENDS

Notes and Links:

Action on Smoking and Health is a health charity working to eliminate the harm caused by tobacco use. For more information see: www.ash.org.uk/about-ash

ASH receives funding for its programme of work from Cancer Research UK and the British Heart Foundation.

ASH staff are available for interview and have an ISDN line. For more information   contact ASH on 020 7404 0242 or out of hours Hazel Cheeseman on 07754 358 593.

References

[1] Tobacco Control https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/

[2] Baker et al, A Content Analysis of Tobacco Content in UK Television, Tobacco Control, 13th August 2018

[3] Studies demonstrating a causal link:

  • The National Cancer Institute. The Role of the Media in Promoting and Reducing Tobacco Use. Tobacco Control Monograph No. 19. US Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health, 2008.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults: A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2012.
  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2014

[4] ASH / UKCTAS submission to the Science and Technology Committee: http://ash.org.uk/media-and-news/press-releases-media-and-news/commons-committee-warned-that-smoking-on-tv-and-in-films-is-encouraging-child-take-up/