Stanton A. Glantz, PhD
Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education
Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, Calif.
The problem: The frequency of smoking on screen in top-grossing movies in the United States has about doubled since 1990 and is at levels not seen since 1950, before people realized that smoking is a major cause of disease and death, according to a 2003 article in The Lancet online written by Stanton A. Glantz, PhD. He sees smoking in movies as a major and growing public health problem.
Programee background: Glantz is nationally recognized as a leader in tobacco control. Over 20 years, his work has ranged from scholarly articles on environmental effects of tobacco smoke to advocating for effective tobacco policies.
The award: In 2000, Glantz received an Innovators Combating Substance Abuse award and got a chance to advance his work. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) created the Innovators program to nurture and promote innovation in combating substance abuse. Between 2000 and 2003, some 20 senior researchers, practitioners and policy-makers received Innovators awards.
Glantz used his Innovators award to educate the entertainment industry about the harm caused by depicting smoking in movies. His Smoke Free Movies project aimed to change attitudes among filmmakers regarding the consequences of portraying smoking in movies.
Glantz's primary strategy involved placing a series of 58 paid advertisements in the West Coast edition of the New York Times, Variety and other publications read by film executives. He also created a website that showcases the advertisements. The website describes how Hollywood's portrayal of smoking in movies influences audiences.
Glantz also wrote several journal articles about smoking featured in movies.