Profile of characters involved in tobacco appearances in Brazilian TV programs
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Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)/ Escola Nacional de Saúde Publica, Centro de Estudos sobre Tabaco e Saúde (CETAB), Brazil
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz)/ Escola Nacional de Saúde Publica, Brazil
University of California San Francisco School of Nursing, Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS), United States of America
Organização Mundial da Saúde, Secretariado da Convenção-Quadro para o Controle do Tabaco, Switzerland
Publication date: 2018-03-01
Tob. Induc. Dis. 2018;16(Suppl 1):A93
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Favorable images of smoking in the media have been pointed out as a potential motivator of the initiation to nicotine addiction. This study aimed to analyze the profile of the characters involved in tobacco appearances in Brazilian TV programs.

Descriptive analysis, with 400 hours of programming including soap operas, Brazilian series, reality shows and film sessions. For this study, characteristics of tobacco users, the place where people smoke and the general message perceived were analyzed. All analysis were obtained using Stata 12.0 software.

A total of 164 programs portraying tobacco use were identified, representing 3 hours of visualization, with 388 appearances of characters involved with smoking. Of these, 75% were male, 60% appeared to be older than 30 years old, 48% were good, 22% were evil and in 30% of the cases, it was not possible to establish whether they were good/bad. These characters appeared smoking in 74% of the scenes, 18% contained only verbal message, 7.5% smoke-free contact and 0.5% body language. The most outstanding characteristics were: beautiful (46%) and lean (41%). The least mentioned characteristics were: supernatural and sick (1% each). In the programs, 43% of the characters were main characters. Smoking scenes overlap, being that 70% of them occur indoors, 67% outdoors, 82% close to non-smoking adults, 6% in non-smoking areas, 3% around children and 2% around pregnant women/sick people. Cigarette smoking was the most prevalent type of tobacco use (87.5%). When observing the general message portrayed by the programs, most cited were: Addiction/Habit (85%) and Relaxation (63%). Less cited messages were: Rebellion (5%) and Loser (3%).

This study allowed us to observe that television media still contributes to the exhibition of characters who smoke, which can influence the use of tobacco by children and adolescents, demonstrating a challenge for Tobacco Control Policies.