This study by Hemant Goswami was commissioned and done for WHO and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (India).
To gauge the effect of this on-screen hype, the study surveyed more than 1,100 children, adolescents and young adults. One in three of these were able to recall seeing a particular tobacco brand in an Indian film. The study reports that exposure to smoking in movies promotes tobacco as a normal behaviour and associates it with style and glamour which creates sufficient influence on many youngsters and arise a desire in them to smoke. This is even noticeable in the attitude of some youngsters who have still not experimented with tobacco but admitted imitating smoking behaviour of the movie characters, thinking it to be fashionable and imitable. Nearly 60 percent of the children and youngsters admitted using articles like pen or pencil akin a cigarette in their hand in emulation of some movie actor smoking. On the issue of creativity, an overwhelming 96 percent said that tobacco's absence from a film would not lessen the film's quality or make them less eager to see it. Health advocates have warned that India's liberalized economy having a 500 million population under 18 is an irresistible target for multinational tobacco companies.