Tobacco Code Book
Definition of Tobacco Content
The portrayal of anything tobacco-related, including smoking ads, logos, or paraphernalia, as well as implied or direct tobacco consumption.
Scale used to Code Explicitness of Tobacco Portrayal
1 = Lighters, ash trays, signs, billboards, cigarette butts, etc. seen, or smoking references
(i.e., “I need a cigarette”)
2 = Actual tobacco product seen but not consumed
(i.e., UNLIT cigarette behind the ear or in hand)
3 = One or two people consume tobacco
(a lit cigarette counts as consumption, even if the act of inhaling is not shown
4 = More than 3 people smoking together or a bar/room filled with smoke
Tobacco Use – Implied vs. Direct
Direct use of tobacco entails tobacco products being actively consumed (e.g., characters can be seen inhaling). Implied use entails lit tobacco products being held or appearing in situations where they are being consumed, but the actual act of “smoking” is not directly shown on screen. Implied use also applies to smokeless tobacco, such as the portrayal of dip cans, snuff bags, or spit cups.
Negative Effects of Smoking Shown
Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, irritated eyes, or other more serious effects that are directly referenced as being caused by smoking (emphysema, lung cancer, asthma, etc.)
Statements or references to the harmful or addictive nature of tobacco products, e.g., “I heard smoking causes cancer” or “Don’t you know that that chewing rots your teeth?” or “Cigarettes are addictive” or “You shouldn’t smoke.”
Refusal of Tobacco
A character is offered a tobacco product and refuses, verbally or physically.
Talk About Smoking / Needing to Use Tobacco / Buying Tobacco
Characters make references to wanting to smoke (or use smokeless forms), e.g., “I really need a cigarette” or “Do you have any dip?” or “Can I have a cigarette?” Count the act of buying tobacco also.
B. Cigars, cigarillos, etc.
C. Smokeless tobacco: loose/powdered/chewing tobacco, pouches, dip cans
D. Piped tobacco or hookahs
Code for tobacco consumed in a dwelling or non-dwelling location