In a concerted effort to limit the amount of tobacco exposure children and teenagers see on the big screen, smoking in movies rated G, PG, and PG-13 dropped 71.6 percent over the last five years, according to USA Today. In G and PG films, tobacco use in films fell 93.6 percent, from 472 instances to 30.
The American Medical Association and the Academy of Pediatrics have praised the film industry for this massive decline in tobacco exposure in their films, as they had previously called for all films that depicted characters smoking to receive a R-rating, the media outlet reports.
"This is an extremely big deal," says study author Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at University of California-San Francsico.
Some experts believe that limiting the amount of exposure children and teens have to cigarette smoking may reduce the likelihood that they will smoke themselves, possibly reducing the number of lung cancer life insurance claims in the future.
In addition to the declining use of tobacco in films for the younger audience, smoking in R-rated films also fell 40.5 percent between 2005 and 2010. Glantz believes that the studios recognize that younger viewers watch these movies as well and that has led to the reduction in smoking in all films.