Are You “Under the Influence” of Movies and TV?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
CDC infographic

Data for 2016. Image by CDC.

Think about a recent movie you saw where somebody onscreen smoked a cigarette. Did you ever wonder why we still see so many young adults smoke on camera, when in the real world fewer young people are smoking every year?  

We can’t say for sure that seeing smoking onscreen causes teens to do the same. But research has found that the two are connected. And we do know one thing: Hollywood loves to show people smoking.

Although there were fewer incidents of smoking in movies for a while, that number has been growing since 2010. And the number of smoking incidents per movie went up, too; in fact, it went up by 21 percent in just 1 year, between 2015 and 2016!

Check out this infographic on smoking in movies. It’s from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a government agency that tracks these things:


Read a text description of this infographic. (Infographic from CDC.)

Learn more: read about the connection between TV and teens’ tobacco use.

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

Related Articles

Say What? “Relapse”
July 2018

A person who's trying to stop using drugs can sometimes start using them again. Fortunately, treatment can help to lower...