Objectives-To assess public perceptions of the tobacco industry and behavio
ural intentions for tobacco use in response to watching the film The Inside
Design-Self administered pre-film survey conducted immediately before viewi
ng and post-film telephone survey conducted within 1-5 weeks of viewing.
Setting-Two commercial cinemas in Melbourne, Australia.
Subjects-323 cinema patrons were recruited before screening of target films
. 182 watched The Insider, 141 watched Erin Brockovich.
Interventions-Subjects watched one of two films: The Insider which featured
information about unethical conduct by the tobacco industry and negative i
nformation about the health effects of smoking, or the "control" film Erin
Brockovich which had an analogous plot without anti-tobacco content.
Main outcome measures-Pre-film questionnaire: assessed movie viewing habits
, demographic characteristics, smoking status, attitudes towards the tobacc
o industry, intentions for smoking. Post-film questionnaire: assessed same
attitudes and intentions plus questions on the film viewed and perceptions
of smoking prevalence.
Results-266 (82%) subjects completed the post-film survey. Attitudes toward
the tobacco industry were unfavourable at baseline. Those who saw ne Insid
er held more negative views of business conduct by the tobacco industry tha
n those who saw Erin Brockovich, once pre-existing attitudes to the industr
y were controlled for. The Insider also appears to have promoted a short te
rm reduction in intentions to smoke.
Conclusions-Results of this study suggest that if people were recurrently e
xposed to anti-tobacco content in movies there its potential for a more sub
stantial and lasting impact on attitudes toward the tobacco industry and sm