Movie companies snuff on-screen smoking

In this photo taken Monday, Feb. 7, 2011, a person smokes a Marlboro cigarette. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

July 14, 2011 12:58:52 PM PDT
A new study shows three film companies have drastically reduced smoking from their movies aimed at children and teens. The three companies have in recent years adopted policies to cut on-screen tobacco use. Over the past five years, scenes involving tobacco dropped from an average of 23 to one per film and most of their youth movies had no smoking at all.

At companies without policies, the decline was less -- from an average of 18 to 10 incidents per film.

In all top-grossing movies, the researchers said Thursday that smoking continued to drop last year.

Studies suggest that movies influence early decisions about smoking. Experts say the more times average teens see smoking on film, the higher the odds they will try tobacco.