Smoking in Chinese Movies


Most popular movie awards worldwide are Oscar, the Golden Lion, the Palm d’Or and the Golden Lion. But have you ever heard about the Filthy Ashtray award? It was created in China in 2007 by the Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, a stop smoking  group. Its main aim is to find out what Chinese films and TV dramas have the highest number of smoking scenes.

The Association told that the 2014 winner is “The White Storm,” a Hong Kong movie about a drug gang. It was estimated that the movie has 53 smoking scenes, which do last 230 seconds, that is 2.8% of the film.

The representatives of the Association say that though in 2011 China adopted a law which prevents people from watching cigarette-filled scenes on TV, smoke is still often seen in movies.

In 2013 China produced 30 movies and 19 of them contained smoking scenes , with a total of almost 21 minutes of screen time for cigarettes.

Since 2007 percentage points were reduced by 23.4, but this is not enough. The numbers of today are still not perfect. The great progress is noted in Chinese television dramas.

In 2007, 90% of them contained smoke, but today half of them are totally smoke-free.

Over the last years China puts its efforts to fight smoking and reduce smoking rates in the country. It was estimated that in the country there is 300 million smokers that is nearly a quarter of China’s 1.3 billion people.

According to Chinese Association on Tobacco Control, it is very important to stop smoking in movies and on TV, because it influences young people and they may consider that smoking is cool.

Among TV dramas of 2013, most often smoking was seen in “Finding the Path”, 44-episode TV-series in which Mao Zedong is the one who smokes frequently.

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