Smoking in contemporary German television programming

Int J Public Health. 2007;52(5):308-12. doi: 10.1007/s00038-007-6107-9.


Objective: To study the prevalence of smoking in German television in 2005.

Methods: Content analysis of all programmes of the four main national channels Das Erste, ZDF RTL and Pro7 over one week between 3 pm and 12 pm. A total of 395 programmes were analysed (252 h of programming). Each programme was coded regarding whether there was one or more smoking occurrence, defined as active smoking or handling with tobacco products by a character.

Results: Smoking was portrayed in 176 (45%) of the programmes. Smoking occurrences were frequent in movies (77%), and in TV magazines (69%). Movies, films, and serials produced in Germany showed more often smoking (65%) compared with productions from abroad (48%; p = 0.051).

Conclusions: Smoking is frequently portrayed in German TV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Smoking Prevention
  • Television / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tobacco Use Disorder / epidemiology*