Women and smoking in Hollywood movies: a content analysis

Am J Public Health. 2000 Mar;90(3):412-4. doi: 10.2105/ajph.90.3.412.


Objectives: We analyzed the portrayal of smoking in Hollywood films starring 10 popular actressess.

Methods: Five movies were randomly sampled for each actress, for a total of 96 hours of film footage that was analyzed in 1116 5-minute intervals.

Results: Leading female actors were as likely to smoke in movies aimed at juvenile audiences (PG/PG-13) as in R-rated movies, whereas male actors were 2.5 times more likely to smoke in R-rated movies. PG/PG-13-rated movies were less likely than R-rated movies to contain negative messages about smoking.

Conclusions: Smoking is highly prevalent in Hollywood films featuring popular actressess and may influence young audiences for whom movie stars serve as role models.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior*
  • Male
  • Motion Pictures*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Smoking*
  • United States
  • Women*