Smoking scenes in Japanese television dramas

Hideyuki Kanda, Tomonori Okamura, Takashi Kadowaki, Takehito Hayakawa, Yoshikuni Kita, Hirotsugu Ueshima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Exposure to smoking scenes in movies and TV dramas has been known to be a trigger for young people starting habitual smoking, but it has not been clarified to what extent youth is routinely exposed to smoking scenes in television programs in Japan. OBJECTIVE: To clarify the status quo of smoking scenes and smoking-related items in serial TV dramas targeting young audience in Japan. METHOD: Seven TV dramas targeting a young audience broadcast between July and September, 2001 were analyzed. A total of 63 hours of TV programs were divided into units of three minutes (a total of 1,264 units). All the units were reviewed for smoking scenes, description of social contexts related to smoking behavior, existence of smoking and smoking-related items. FINDINGS: Among the 1,264 three-minute units, 129 (10.2%) contained smoking behavior, and 258 (20.4%) depicted smoking environment with presence of smoking-related items. Smokers were male actors (126 units, 97.7%), aged 20-40 years (118 units, 91.5%), leading actors (72 units, 55.8%), and were smoking alone (80 units, 62.0%). Smoking places mainly took place in indoor settings (56 units, 43.4%). Ashtrays were the most frequently observed smoking-related items (8.1% of the total units). The smoking scenes with actions other than smoking itself accounted for 70 units (54.3% of the smoking scenes). As for the actions other than smoking, working (28 units, 21.7%) and eating (17 units, 13.2%) were commonly observed. Regarding smoking scenes without any other actions, 32 units (24.8%) were observed in the beginning or ending telops, and 27 units (20.9%) showed a person smoking without doing anything else. There were only 3 units (0.2%) which were against smoking behavior. Approximately 30% of the Japanese serial television drama scenes featured tobacco use in story plots. As the general features of the smoking scenes, most of them do not necessarily require smoking in the story. Furthermore, there was little consideration about separation of designated smoking areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-70
Number of pages9
Journal[Nippon kōshū eisei zasshi] Japanese journal of public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Smoking scenes in Japanese television dramas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this