With 2.6 minutes of screen time on average per film, tobacco gets exposure equivalent to six commercials, the survey, based on 150 films, examined.
More than half a century after New Wave films made smoking sexy, French cinema is still addicted to tobacco which features in nearly every national production, according to a survey on Wednesday.
With 2.6 minutes of screen time on average per film, tobacco obtains an exposure equivalent to six advertising spots, according to the Ipsos survey for the French League against cancer on 150 films examined.
“Tobacco is almost ubiquitous in French films,” said the League.
“Between 2015 and 2019, 90.7% of films include at least one tobacco-related event, object or line,” he said.
This included a smoking character, the presence of ashtrays and cigarettes, or a character talking about smoking, he said.
More than a decade after a comprehensive indoor smoking ban went into effect in France, films more than ever show people smoking in public spaces, the League said.
More than 20 percent of smoking scenes occur in offices or other workplaces, and almost as many in cafes, restaurants or nightclubs, according to the survey.
A survey of young adults accompanying the survey found that nearly 60% viewed these scenes as incitement to smoke, and almost as many believed the tobacco industry was involved in product placement.
“The League has vigorously denounced the glorification of smoking in French films for 15 years,” said its president Axel Kahn in a statement, also calling into question “campaigns aimed at young people, as aggressive as they are insidious”.
The study, scheduled before World No Tobacco Day on Monday, came as the French health authority Public Health announced that last year saw the end of a downward trend in smoking in France for years.
Blaming a “backdrop of social crisis” in a year marked by Covid, Public Health said more low-income people were smoking than in 2019, and fewer smokers had tried to quit.