Icelandic Films With Most People Smoking - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Icelandic Films With Most People Smoking

Published November 4, 2015

Photos by
Screenshot from Bjarnfreðarson

No country produces more films with people smoking in them than Iceland, the results of new research shows.

New research from BMC Public Health sought to assess the amount of smoking depicted in films, comparing American movies to those produced in Europe and elsewhere. The results show that for smoking in movies in general, Iceland comes out on top, followed by Italy, Argentina and Mexico. For films aimed at young people, Iceland was in second place, behind Germany, but again ahead of Italy and Argentina.

However, bear in mind that this comparison between American films and those produced elsewhere used a limited sample size of six European countries (Germany, Iceland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, UK) and two from Latin America; namely, Argentina and Mexico.

Even so, the results are striking. Studies found that 94% of all Icelandic films feature someone smoking. The lowest rate amongst the sample size was in the Netherlands, where 58% of all films and 53% of youth related films had smoking in them.

A blog post from BMC Public Health underscored why this is an issue:

“Because there is strong evidence that smoking imagery in films contributes to the uptake of smoking among adolescents. The link is causal with a dose-response relationship, so the more films they see featuring smoking scenes, the more likely they are to smoke.”

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