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U.S. Adults’ Public Opinion Toward R-Rating Labels for Movies With Cigarette Smoking

Published:October 10, 2022DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2022.08.017

      Introduction

      The purpose of this study was to describe the proportion of U.S. adults who support, oppose, or are neutral toward a policy designating R-ratings for movies depicting cigarette smoking and to identify predictors of policy opposition or neutrality among a nationally representative sample.

      Methods

      Data from the 2020 Health Information National Trends Survey 5 Cycle 4 (fielded in 2020; N=3,865) were used to estimate the prevalence of support, neutrality, and opposition to a policy designating R-ratings for movies containing depictions of cigarette smoking. Weighted, multivariable logistic regression was used to assess the predictors of policy opposition or neutrality.

      Results

      The analysis showed that 47.0% of U.S. adults were supportive, 20.3% opposed, and 30.3% were neutral toward designating R-ratings for movies depicting cigarette smoking. Older adults were significantly less likely to be neutral to or opposed to an R-rating policy than adults aged 18–34 years: age 50–64 years (OR=0.56; 95% CI=0.35, 0.87), age 65–74 years (OR=0.39; 95% CI=0.24, 0.64), and age ≥75 years (OR=0.27; 95% CI=0.16, 0.45). In addition, non-Hispanic Asians were significantly less likely than non-Hispanic Whites to be neutral to or opposed the policy (OR=0.46; 95% CI=0.25, 0.84).

      Conclusions

      Study findings show that a near majority of U.S. adults support a policy that would designate R-ratings for movies depicting cigarette smoking and that there is greater neutrality than opposition toward the policy. Assessing public opinion toward a policy designating R-ratings for movies depicting cigarette smoking may inform efforts to educate the public about the value of such policies for preventing youth tobacco initiation.
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