From Toronto to New Delhi, Liverpool to Jakarta, families around the world say the film industry fails our kids.
September 2011, the World Health Organization
updated its comprehensive report on films
and global tobacco promotion; policy remedies
in the FCTC context; and developments in
India, the UK and the US. Download
Smoke-Free Movies: From Evidence
Hollywood movies dominate screens in almost every country. Studies in Germany, New Zealand and Mexico, as well as the United States, find that on-screen smoking on screen is a primary recruiter of new young smokers — and US films deliver the most tobacco impressions.
Headlines from Ankara, Bangkok, Beijing, Taipei, London, New Delhi, Jakarta and other cities show rising concern among public health authorities. In 2007, ASH New Zealand and the European Network for Smoking Prevention (ENSP), representing 700 organizations in thirty countries, endorsed the four smokefree movie policies.
no better time for parents and young people around the
world to tell the film industry to stop doing the tobacco
industry’s dirty work. Press events, education
at theaters and DVD retailers, civic resolutions, and
personal letters to major US studios and their corporate
owners all send the message: Stop toxic movies. Smoking
in movies kills in real life.
orders smoking films to carry on-screen warnings
November 2011, the Indian Ministry of Health and Family
Welfare, in consultation with the Ministry of Information
and Broadcasting, announced that films and programs
would now need to "justify" any smoking content,
display on-screen warnings, and include a 20-second
disclaimer delivered by any actor seen smoking. Films
with smoking will be limited to broadcast periods with
fewer young viewers and all new films with smoking must
carry at least a "UA" film classification
— one step short of the adult rating ("A"
in India) recommended by the World Health Organization.
rules also apply to foreign films and video programming
imported into India. India's government began developing
these measures after traditional tobacco advertising
was banned in 2004 and cigarette imagery subsequently
exploded in Bollywood films, a development spotlighted
by Indian NGOs. Read the official
In Liverpool, youth and health experts press to adult-rate future film smoking.
The Liverpool youth movement against tobacco, D•Myst, and a coalition of regional health agencies have asked the City Council to classify future movies with smoking for audiences 18 and older. D•Myst led the national initiative to make public sports stadiums smokefree. Liverpool also spearheaded the fight for smokefree workplaces and public areas in the UK.
The coalition simply observes that the British Board of Film Classification has failed to enforce its own rules, which, if fairly applied would lead it to rate smoking films "18" (the UK equivalent of a US "R" rating). Properly rating films for smoking in the UK is particularly important because the BBFC often rates US movies with smoking for younger audiences — exposing local young people to even higher levels of smoking than youth in the US. Fortunately, local jurisdictions have the right to override the BBFC. Download details.
Annual International Week of Action in early spring
Scheduled the same week as the Academy Awards, the International Week of Action on Smokefree Movies is a chance for youth groups, parent groups, health organizations and consumer alliances in different countries to pressure the globalized film and tobacco industries in a highly coordinated way. Contact us for more information.
Theater slides, newspaper ads and rolling billboards mark 2006 International Day of Action.
What kids around the world are saying! "Whole
World is Watching" video | Windows
Media | Quicktime
| Real | (8 mb) Cameras took to the
streets around the globe to capture the feelings of
the largest generation in world history. It’s
raw. It’s real.
• World Health Organization (WHO) has supported Smoke Free Movies worldwide since 2003.
study finds smoking exploded and the display of
Philip Morris and BAT brands almost tripled in Bollywood
films after India banned tobacco ads in other media
• Time Warner films promoted British American Tobacco (BAT) in Nigeria | 1 | 2
• How Philip Morris used film placement to open Japanese market.
“Taking It to Hollywood": International Day of Action video! Two rolling billboards hit the streets at the Oscars®. L.A. County public health director Jonathan Fielding, MD, tells it straight. Studios are starting to listen. | Windows Media | Quicktime | Real | (7 mb)