Have you been curious like me and especially my wife about this phenomenon? Have you noticed it too? It seems to us that there is more and more smoking again on TV and in the movies. We can’t really understand it. Is it intended to somehow make it seem more real to viewers, more current? Are they somehow trying to appeal more to a more youthful cohort of people with so many smokers? It’s very puzzling. I don’t see an upside, and can imagine plenty of downsides. I was surprised to see on Saturday Night Live the main monologue skit which seemed to be built around Dave Chappelle smoking. Chappelle is a brilliant comedian and a famous iconoclast, but this seemed even more off-putting.
After all, for years it seemed like smoking was mostly eliminated from TV and the movies as part of an effort to discourage identification with smokers and smoking. Which I thought was a good thing. And yet, in recent years smoking in the digital media is on the rise. I have not heard that smoking is really increasing per se in the general population, although young women are a problematic group in terms of smoking influencers. Given how bad smoking really is, is this an end run around public health rules by Big Tobacco? Is Big Tobacco at it again with smoking placement incentives in the cinema, just like product placement. Seems like something worthy of questioning and looking into.