Self-censorship suggested

| January 11, 2018

Cigarettes are ‘ubiquitous’ in films and on television, and this is a problem, said Marlene Mortler, Germany’s Federal Drugs Commissioner, in an interview with newspaper and magazine publisher Funke Mediengruppe that was reported by DW World (Deutsche Welle).

“The more frequently that young people see others smoking in films and on television, the greater the likelihood is that they will pick up a cigarette,” said Mortler, referencing a recent study by the Kiel-based Institute for Therapy and Health Research.

That study revealed that of the 39 films which were nominated for the German Film Prize in 2016 and 2017, smoking was shown in 33 of them. In films nominated for an Oscar during the same period, that ratio was 64 percent.

Mortler hopes to make people working within the film industry “more aware of their role in influencing the health of their viewing public”.

DW World said that because film characters were often looked up to by viewers, ‘children and young adults may be more likely to smoke after seeing one of their heroes light up on screen’.

According to the DW World piece, Mortler seemed to be saying that because the number of people who smoked in Germany was steadily declining, especially among those aged 18 to 25, the light in which smoking was presented in films should be made less positive.

“The idea that audiences have this kind of media literacy is reckless and short-sighted,” Mortler was quoted as saying in her ‘appeal to the film industry to be more sensitive in their presentation of cigarettes’.

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Category: Breaking News, People

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