Smoking in European movies is much stricter than in the U.S., new study finds

The prohibition of smoking in enclosed public places was widely credited for contributing to smoking’s decline in the United States, and it’s still widely regarded as one of the most successful anti-smoking initiatives in American history.

But in Europe, where most films are rated R and smoking is commonplace — a phenomenon referred to as “rubber-burning” or the “R-rated smoker” — regulations that restrict cigarettes and other tobacco products in movies are known as “Covid Restrictions.”

In a study that looked at national cinema ratings and the availability of smoking in movies shown in France and Poland, a team of researchers at the American University of Paris published new research that found many stricter smoke-free policies than in the United States.

“The stark contrast between the United States and Europe may be explained by the regulatory policies in the United States, which were designed mainly to protect children,” they wrote.

Without other restrictions to smoking in movies, the authors’ paper predicted that fewer people would smoke while watching films in those countries, particularly youngsters.

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