smoking on scree and TV- paid for?

Coming off the end page of this thread:

Because Big Tobacco got caught giving Payola to the Movie and TV industry to portray smoking in a cool and glamorous light, and so it was made illegal to do that. Both the entertainment and tobacco industries recognised the high value of promotion of tobacco through entertainment media. The 1980s saw undertakings by four tobacco companies, Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds (RJR), American Tobacco Company, and Brown and Williamson to place their products in movies. RJR and Philip Morris also worked to place products on television at the beginning of the decade. Each company hired aggressive product placement firms to represent its interests in Hollywood. These firms placed products and tobacco signage in positive situations that would encourage viewers to use tobacco and kept brands from being used in negative situations. At least one of the companies, RJR, undertook an extensive campaign to hook Hollywood on tobacco by providing free cigarettes to actors on a monthly basis. Efforts were also made to place favourable articles relating to product use by actors in national print media and to encourage professional photographers to take pictures of actors smoking specific brands. …

Conclusions: The tobacco industry understood the value of placing and encouraging tobacco use in films, and how to do it. While the industry claims to have ended this practice, smoking in motion pictures increased throughout the 1990s and remains a public health problem.

The tobacco industry recruits new smokers by associating its products with fun, excitement, sex, wealth, and power and as a means of expressing rebellion and independence. One of the ways it has found to promote these associations has been to encourage smoking in entertainment productions.1 Exposure to smoking in entertainment media is associated with increased smoking and favourable attitudes towards tobacco use among adolescents.2–8…While the tobacco industry has routinely denied active involvement in entertainment programming, previously secret tobacco industry documents made available in the USA show that the industry has had a long and deep relationship with Hollywood. Placing tobacco products in movies and on television (fig 1), encouraging celebrity use and endorsement, advertising in entertainment oriented magazines, designing advertising campaigns to reflect Hollywood’s glamour, and sponsoring entertainment oriented events have all been part of the industry’s relationship with the entertainment industry.

It fits with their persona, because they wrote it to do so.

And the new Mortal Lucifer can apparently get cancer, etc.

and a final quote from that cite:Whether the presence of tobacco is due to tobacco industry activities or not, however, the effect on promoting tobacco is the same. Many of the messages that tobacco, as a prop, is used to convey—rebellion, independence, sexiness, wealth, power and celebration—are images the tobacco industry has created to sell its products.73 The TUTD found that 48% of the 1999-2000 movies they reviewed carried such messages.79 Tobacco use is rarely presented as a cause of death and suffering, or an activity more and more concentrated in lower socioeconomic strata.73, 76 To the degree that directors, performers, and writers accept and repeat images created by the tobacco industry, they continue to provide powerful, “subliminal” messages to young people that tobacco use is an acceptable, even highly desirable, activity. It is also important to note that whether tobacco is used by heroes or villains, it still promotes tobacco use.4, 5

another cite:…&context=jhclp

and heres from Joe Eszterhas (screenwriter / author of American Rhapsody):
I’ve written 14 movies…tobacco companies loved “Basic Instinct.” One of them even launched a brand of “Basic” cigarettes not long after the movie became a worldwide hit, perhaps inspired by my cigarette-friendly work…I have made a deal with God. Spare me, I said, and I will try to stop others from committing the same crimes I did…Eighteen months ago I was diagnosed with throat cancer…I haven’t smoked or drank for 18 months now…I don’t think smoking is every person’s right anymore. I think smoking should be as illegal as heroin…Hollywood films…are the advertising agency and sales force for an industry that kills nearly 10,000 people daily.

A cigarette in the hands of a Hollywood star onscreen is a gun aimed at a 12- or 14-year-old…“creative freedom” and “artistic expression” … are lies designed, at best, to obscure laziness…My hands are bloody; so are Hollywood’s. My cancer has caused me to attempt to cleanse mine…

and for those that say placement stopped:

Fox got paid for that scene in Lucifer, and Big Tobacco happily paid to entice more kids to start smoking.
The question is- do you believe Big Tobacco when they say they have stopped paying for smoking scenes?


But I also do not care one way or the other. I do not use tobacco, but many people do. I expect to see that reflected in movies.

You’ve provided a lot of cites and quotes from sites, but can you provide one to substantiate your claim about smoking on that TV show?

About 15% of American smoke.

46% of PG13 movies show smoking.

Watching movies that include smoking causes young people to start smoking.1 The more smoking young people see on screen, the more likely they are to start smoking.1

The use of cigarettes amongst high schoolers has declined by just over 40% since 2011.

Unsurprisingly, most of your cites in the OP are 404 fails.

You’re REALLY fascinated by decades old cites. The only one I found in the OP that worked was from 12 years ago, and in the pit thread you linked a cite from 17 years ago.

Yes, there’s such a thing as stealth marketing. That was pretty well know way before Thanks for Smoking hit the screens. Not only for tobacco but for practically any industry.

Of course, due to certain ad restrictions, tobacco and alcohol do use a lot more stealth marketing. Sometimes it’s not even particularly stealthy. But most of the time is pretty indistinguishable.

Now, the OP is pretty weird, ranty wall of text, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.

Some of the links in the OP have … in the middle of them. Had the OP bothered to include the full URLs, they might have worked.

How many movies that feature smoking in some way now include one of those disclaimers in the credits (similar to the “No animals were harmed in the making of this film”) that say something along the lines of, “No one involved in the film received any payment or other consideration, nor entered into any agreement, for the depiction of tobacco products in this film”?

Then again, would that include payments for the use of a particular brand?

If I were in charge of advertising for a tobacco company and I was incredibly evil and greedy, I would not spend money to violate US law to promote cigarettes. Instead, I would advertise in countries that do not have laws against tobacco ads. Not only would I not put my company or my job in jeopardy, but the cost per ad would probably be less and they’d probably be more effective. Places without anti-tobacco advertising laws probably don’t have much of an anti-smoking culture.

I guess if a nicotine delivery product came along that was sort of in a regulatory grey area in the US, I’d pay for that.

So no, it doesn’t make sense for tobacco companies to pay for product placement in US TV shows.

That’s several hundred million of clientele you are distributing directly. Of course you are going to advertise your product any way you can.

Nothing is decades old.
2002 2005 Not decades
1999 (almost two decades. but still not "decades old’)

And here’s a 2015 cite:


I fail to see your point. So, maybe 15% of the characters in those 46% of movies smoke.

Unless everyone in the cast of those movies is puffing away, this comparison is nonsensical.

No they didn’t.

I believe them is the short answer.

The longer is that IMHO the amount of smoking in old shows and movies was probably as much a reflection of the times as any evil plot. Fewer people smoke today so fewer smoke in films, TV and art. In a way it just makes sense. I’ll be curious to see how electronic smoking/vapes <sic?> are treated in the next few years.

Seems to me that we actually see less smoking in movies now, which is good, it’s kinda disgusting and I don’t need to see characters take a crap either even though all people do it. An exception for me is era movies, since I’m old enough to remember when people could light up pretty much anywhere they wanted. I worked at a grocery store and people would examine apples with a cigarette hanging from their mouth and ashes dropping into the produce. The reality of any non-smoker growing up before the 1990s is that you were going to inhale some tobacco smoke that day if you left your house. Nowadays I can go a month without catching even a whiff. So if I see a movie set in the 80s or before and no one is smoking it almost seems weird.

You say that like it’s a meaningful statistic.

For starters, “46% PG13 of movies show smoking” is dramatically different than “46% of characters in PG13 movies smoke,” which appears to be the conclusion you’re drawing there - or at least, the conclusion you want us to draw. In that 46% of movies that feature characters smoking, what percentage of the characters in that movie are shown smoking? Is it 15% of the characters? More? Less? How does that percentage work out when you factor in the 56% of movies that don’t feature anyone smoking? I mean, if I spend a significant amount of time in a given day among the general public, the chances of me seeing someone, somewhere, who smokes is about 100%, and I suspect where I live the percentage of smokers is substantially lower than 15% of the population.

Addressing the OP more broadly: as fun as it is to mock the quality of the cites you provided, the cites are really besides the point. I don’t think anyone questions the idea that tobacco companies have paid for product placement in the past. And I doubt anyone would be particularly surprised to learn that tobacco companies were skirting -or outright breaking - laws about tobacco advertising in movies. But you presented the idea that the title character in Lucifer smoking was the result of paid product placement as an established fact. As far as I can see, you have precisely zero evidence that this particular instance of someone smoking on TV was the result of anything other than a creative choice on behalf of the show’s creators. So, I’m wondering, given the lack of evidence for your claim in this particular regard - do you think that there are any instances of smoking in films or on TV that isn’t bought and paid for? Are there any instances where a writer could just think, “It makes sense for this particular character to be a smoker,” without any further motive?

And if there are such instances, why are you so dead certain that Lucifer - a show about the literal devil - isn’t one of them?

I think* all* depictions of smoking are paid for.

It is interesting that many posters seem to trust Big Tobacco, the people known for lying over and over and over.

It’s not about trusting Big Tobacco. Like I said, I would not be at all surprised that tobacco companies circumvent or outright ignore laws about tobacco advertising in some instances. But to insist that literally every instance of smoking on TV is the result of payola is conpsiracy-theory nonsense. Being skeptical of that idea is no more “trusting Big Tobacco,” then rejecting the idea that the government was behind 9/11 means you trust George Bush.

So, you think Jim Jarmusch was paid for the depictions of cigarette smoking in this movie? :dubious: