February 14th, 2011
Smoking prevalent on TV shows that are most popular with teens
Los Angeles Times
Which of the following TV programs depicts tobacco use most frequently?
A. “Gossip Girl”
C. “America’s Next Top Model”
Before you guess, a little background. For the purposes of this pop quiz, a “depiction” of tobacco is defined as a single instance of a cigarette or cigar appearing onscreen. If two characters are smoking at the same time, that counts as two depictions. If a character takes a puff, moves the cigarette off-screen and then takes another puff, those count as separate depictions. If a package of cigarettes is visible on a table, that counts as a depiction, as does each individual cigarette that may be visible inside. In this tally, it doesn’t matter whether the cigarette or cigar is lighted or not.
If you guessed “Heroes,” the drama about regular people who obtain special powers and must use them to save the world, you were wrong.