Tobacco Content Still Common on U.K. Prime-Time Television

Tobacco content occurred in 33 percent of all programs; 8 percent of all adverts, trailer breaks

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MONDAY, Aug. 20, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Audiovisual tobacco content remains common in prime-time U.K. television programs and is virtually unchanged from 2010, according to a study published online Aug. 13 in Tobacco Control.

Alexander B. Barker, from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a content analysis of all programs and advertisements or trailers broadcast on the five national U.K. free-to-air channels in the United Kingdom between 6 and 10 p.m. during three weeks in 2015. The results were compared with those from a similar analysis conducted in 2010.

The researchers found that tobacco content occurred in 33 and 8 percent of all programs and adverts or program trailer breaks, respectively. In 12 percent of all programs broadcast, actual tobacco use occurred. In 2 percent of all broadcasts, tobacco-related objects occurred, primarily no-smoking signs; implied tobacco use and branding were also rare. Most tobacco content occurred before the watershed at 9 p.m.

"These findings are virtually unchanged from our earlier analysis of program content from 2010," the authors write. "Audiovisual tobacco content remains common in U.K. television programs."

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