The Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation SmokeScreeners Announce The 2015 “Phlegmmy Awards” Identifying the Smokiest Films of the Year!

In conjunction with the annual Academy Awards, The SmokeScreeners have issued their annual “Phlegmmy Awards”, the list of the ten films with the most tobacco use as rated by students, parents, and educators.  Spectre, the latest entry in the James Bond franchise, tops this year’s list as the Worst Movie of 2015.

The SmokeScreeners program was developed by Dr. Barry Hummel, a Pediatrician and youth tobacco prevention advocate, as a way of highlighting the problem of tobacco use in films marketed to children and teenagers.  “Even if you exclude product placement, smoking by actors in movies is a form of subliminal advertising for the tobacco industry,” said Dr. Hummel.  “Sadly, between one-third to one-half of all teenagers who smoke say that they lit their first cigarettes because it looked cool in a movie.”

“Spectre is a PG-13 rated installment in one of the most successful movie franchises of all time.  The good news is that the character of James Bond has never smoked with Daniel Craig in the title role,” said Dr. Barry Hummel. “Unfortunately, the producers still felt the need to include tobacco use by other credited actors.  Because this is a PG-13 action film, Spectre was seen by large numbers of teenage boys and young adult males.  Given all we know about the impact of scenes of movie smoking on the initiation of youth tobacco use, the film successfully reached one of the tobacco industry’s most important target audiences.”

The SmokeScreeners program rates each film using a standardized score sheet which takes into account the importance of the cast members seen smoking, the amount of smoking, the location of the smoking, and the perceived message of the smoking scenes.  The worst ten films are then selected using a formula that takes into account the film’s smoking score, the MPAA rating, and film’s ticket sales.

Spectre has sold nearly $200 million in tickets in the United States alone,” added Dr. Hummel.  “If we assume the average ticket price is $8.00, then roughly 25 million Americans have seen the movie.  That means that every smoking incident in the film provided 25 million tobacco impressions… not bad marketing for an industry that has few remaining advertising options.”

The entire Top Ten Phlegmmy Awards List for 2015 includes:

  1. Spectre
  2. Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation
  3. Taken 3
  4. Paddington
  5. Creed
  6. Terminator Genisys
  7. The Age of Adaline
  8. Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
  9. The Lazarus Effect
  10. Woman in Gold


Past Winners:  Top Ten Phlegmmy Awards for 2014

    X-Men: Days of Future Past
  1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  4. Unbroken
  5. Ride Along
  6. Non-Stop
  7. Dumb and Dumber To
  8. The Monuments Men
  9. The Imitation Game

Past Winners:  Top Ten Phlegmmy Awards for 2013

  1. The Hobbit: The Desolation on Smaug (PG-13)
  2. The Great Gatsby (PG-13)
  3. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (PG-13)
  4. The Butler (PG-13)
  5. Captain Phillips (PG-13)
  6. 42 (PG-13)
  7. Oblivion (PG-13)
  8. Grown Ups 2 (PG-13)
  9. The Wolverine (PG-13)
  10. Red 2 (PG-13)


Past Winners:  Top Ten Phlegmmy Awards for 2012

1:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13)

2:  Skyfall (PG-13)

3:  Lincoln (PG-13)

4:  Men in Black III (PG-13)

5:  Taken 2 (PG-13)

6:  Dark Shadows (PG-13)

7:  Les Misérables (PG-13)

8:  Red Tails (PG-13)

9:  Think Like a Man (PG-13)

10: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (PG-13)



Barry Hummel., Jr., MD, FAAP

Through his work in the film industry, Dr. Hummel became the Research Coordinator for the Blue Planet Marine Research Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by James Cameron. In addition to his research responsibilities, Dr. Hummel edited and published the organization’s newsletter and produced several documentaries about the work of the foundation.