Learning Objectives: Understand the needs and concerns of the entertainment industry regarding onscreen tobacco use, and how best to approach and partner with the industry to yield long term systemic change. Understand how and why tobacco use and tobacco products really wind up in movies and TV shows, in order to apply a more collaborative, proactive approach toward working with the industry. Understand ways in which current efforts by several organizations are already working to create a dialogue with the entertainment industry, leading toward policy change and new creative choices.
Abstract: The entertainment industry is often the scapegoat for a variety of societal problems, including tobacco use by young people. Although there’s now evidence to suggest a link between tobacco depictions on-screen and the likelihood a teen will begin smoking, there are also efforts underway to partner with Hollywood regarding smoking in entertainment.
This session will draw from the extensive experiences of the Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! project of the American Lung Association of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, the STARS project of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails and the American Lung Association of Los Angeles County, and the efforts of the Entertainment Industries Council, Inc. in “Encouraging the art of making a difference.”
Each of these efforts has been met with degrees of success in working with Hollywood, resulting in policy change, attitude change, cooperative efforts, stimulating open dialogue, and the emergence of new champions, primarily brought about from within the industry.
Among the session’s agenda items: excerpts from the Scene Smoking documentary; significance of and outcomes from the Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down! data and industry dialogue; top reasons tobacco appears in films and TV; tobacco product placement policies at the studios; politics, first amendment issues, and the ratings system; and how to open the doors and work within and in partnership with members of the entertainment industry toward positive and long-term systemic change, rather than in opposition to the industry from outside.
This session is essential to any organization that has considered launching an “attack” on the entertainment industry for the amount of on-screen smoking.
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