The appearance of a cigarette brand in a cinema film gives the brand a certain distinction through its association with the characters and general tone of the film. Through the worldwide distribution of films, brands are promoted globally. We assessed the tobacco brand appearances in a 10 year sample of contemporary films.


We viewed the contents of the top 25 US box office films for each year of release, from 1988 to 1997 (250 films in total). We compared the prevalence of brand appearances for films produced before a voluntary ban on paid product placement by the tobacco industry (1988 90) with films produced after the ban (1991 97). Tobacco brand appearance was defined as the screen appearance of a brand name, logo, or identifiable trademark on products or product packaging, billboards, store front advertising, or tobacco promotional items. We defined actor endorsement of a brand as the display of a brand while being handled or used by an actor.


More than 85% of the films contained tobacco use. Tobacco brands appeared in 70 (28%) films. Brand appearances were as common in films suitable for adolescent audiences as they were in films for adult audiences (32 vs 35%), and were also present in 20% of those rated for children. Prevalence of brand appearance did not change overall in relation to the ban. However, there was a striking increase in the type of brand appearance depicted, with actor endorsement increasing from 1% of films before the ban to 11% after. Four US cigarette brands accounted for 80% of brand appearances. Revenues outside the USA accounted for 49% of total revenues for these films, indicating a large international audience.


Tobacco brand appearances are common in films and are becoming increasingly endorsed by actors. The most highly advertised US cigarette brands account for most brand appearances, which suggests an advertising motive to this practice.

Altria enters e-cigarette market, igniting competition – dailyfinance

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images By MICHAEL FELBERBAUM

RICHMOND, Va. Tobacco company Altria is introducing its first electronic cigarette under the MarkTen brand in Indiana starting in August and expanding its smokeless product offerings.

The owner of the nation’s biggest cigarette maker, Philip Morris USA, announced the details of its NuMark subsidiary’s foray into the fast growing business Tuesday.

It’s the last of the nation’s major tobacco companies to market an electronic cigarette in an industrywide push to diversify beyond the traditional cigarette business, which has become tougher in the face of tax hikes, smoking bans, health concerns and social stigma. Richmond, Va. based Altria Group (MO) declined to say whether it plans to expand beyond the initial statewide test market or whether it plans to advertise on TV a place tobacco companies have long been prohibited from marketing traditional cigarettes.

Electronic cigarettes are battery powered devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale. Devotees say e cigarettes address both the addictive and behavioral aspects of smoking. Smokers get their nicotine without the more than 4,000 chemicals found in regular cigarettes. And they get to hold something shaped like a cigarette, while puffing and exhaling something that looks like smoke.

More than 45 million Americans smoke cigarettes, and about half of smokers try to quit each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

MarkTen is a disposable e cigarette but can be reused by buying a separate battery recharging kit and additional cartridges. The company said the e cigarette’s “Four Draw” technology is designed to give users a “more consistent experience.” The e cigarette, made in China by a contract manufacturer, is expected to sell for about $9.50. Prices for additional cartridges and recharging kit weren’t available.

Last week, Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), owner of the nation’s second biggest tobacco company, announced that it is launching a revamped version of its Vuse brand electronic cigarette in Colorado in July, with its sights set on expanding nationally. Lorillard Inc. (LO), the nation’s third biggest tobacco company, acquired e cigarette maker Blu Ecigs in April 2012 and has expanded to more than 80,000 retail outlets.