Japanese serial television dramas are becoming very popular overseas, particularly in other Asian countries. Exposure to smoking scenes in movies and television dramas has been known to trigger initiation of habitual smoking in young people. Smoking scenes in Japanese dramas may affect the smoking behavior of many young Asians. We examined smoking scenes and smoking-related items in serial television dramas targeting young audiences in Japan during the same season in two consecutive years. Fourteen television dramas targeting the young audience broadcast between July and September in 2001 and 2002 were analyzed. A total of 136 h 42 min of television programs were divided into unit scenes of 3 min (a total of 2734 unit scenes). All the unit scenes were reviewed for smoking scenes and smoking-related items. Of the 2734 3-min unit scenes, 205 (7.5%) were actual smoking scenes and 387 (14.2%) depicted smoking environments with the presence of smoking-related items, such as ashtrays. In 185 unit scenes (90.2% of total smoking scenes), actors were shown smoking. Actresses were less frequently shown smoking (9.8% of total smoking scenes). Smoking characters in dramas were in the 20-49 age group in 193 unit scenes (94.1% of total smoking scenes). In 96 unit scenes (46.8% of total smoking scenes), at least one non-smoker was present in the smoking scenes. The smoking locations were mainly indoors, including offices, restaurants and homes (122 unit scenes, 59.6%). The most common smoking-related items shown were ashtrays (in 45.5% of smoking-item-related scenes) and cigarettes (in 30.2% of smoking-item-related scenes). Only 3 unit scenes (0.1 % of all scenes) promoted smoking prohibition. This was a descriptive study to examine the nature of smoking scenes observed in Japanese television dramas from a public health perspective.
- Descriptive analysis
- Japanese serial television dramas
- Smoking scenes
- Unit scenes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health