Three Quarters (73%) of Ontarians Support Not Allowing Smoking in Movies Rated G, PG or 14A

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Toronto, ON – Three quarters (73%) of Ontarians ‘support’ (48% strongly/28% somewhat) ‘not allowing smoking in movies that are rated G, PG or 14A’, according to a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Ontario Coalition for Smoke Free Movies. Conversely, three in ten (27%) would ‘oppose’ (11% strongly/16% somewhat) such a measure.

But support does not stop there: seven in ten (70%) ‘support’ (40% strongly/30% somewhat) ‘not allowing tobacco logos in movies scenes’, and a similar proportion (68%) ‘supports’ (33% strongly/35% somewhat) a move that would ‘require anti-smoking ads before any film with smoking in it’. A majority (52%) even ‘supports’ (22% strongly/30% somewhat) ‘changing movie ratings so that movies with smoking will get an 18A rating’, although this initiative is more controversial as nearly one half (48%) ‘opposes’ (23% strongly/25% somewhat) it.

However, once respondents were informed that an estimated 130,000 of the 300,000 teenage smokers in Ontario began smoking as a result of exposure to smoking in movies, support increased for each of these policy initiatives, most notably support for automatically assigning a movie rating of 18A if it contains smoking (63%, up from 52%).

A majority (51%) of Ontarians say that over the last twelve months they have at least occasionally (12% frequently/39% occasionally) noticed smoking in movies, while others rarely (30%), or never (12%) notice this, and one in ten (8%) haven’t watched any movies in the last year.

Ontarians have some mixed reviews when it comes to their beliefs about smoking in movies:

  • Nearly half (48%) say it’s true that kids who see a lot of smoking in movies are more likely to start smoking, while one in three (31%) believe this to be false and two in ten (22%) don’t know.
  • Most (53%) say that it’s true there is rarely any smoking in movies anymore, while one in three (34%) believe this to be false and 13% don’t know.
  • Four in ten (41%) think it’s true that the tobacco industry has paid for placement of their products in movies, while one in ten (11%) believe this to be false and nearly half (48%) are unsure of whether this is the case or not.
  • One quarter (26%) believes it’s true that the tobacco industry has paid actors to smoke on screen, while two in ten (20%) believe this to be false and majority (54%) don’t know.

These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted between March 25 to 30, 2011, on behalf of the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Ontario Coalition for Smoke Free Movies. For this survey, a sample of 812 Ontarians from Ipsos' Canadian online was interviewed online. Weighting was then employed to balance demographic composition to ensure that the sample's composition reflects that of the adult population according to Census data and to provide results intended to approximate the sample universe. A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100% response rate would have an estimated margin of error of +/-3.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the entire population of adults in Ontario been polled. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error, and measurement error.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Jennifer McLeod Macey
Associate Vice President
Ipsos Reid

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Three Quarters (73%) of Ontarians Support Not Allowing Smoking in Movies Rated G, PG or 14A


Jennifer McLeod Macey
Vice President, Health Research Institute
Ipsos Public Affairs
+1 416 324 2108