Smoke Free Movies has launched a series of print advertisements in Variety and other publications. This advertisement first ran in Variety on April 10, 2008 (and again on July 15, after six studios announced that they were adding anti-smoking spots to youth-rated DVDs). .
[One in a Series]
Necessary, yes. Sufficient, no.
(Image of gas mask)
Does a polluter become “green” by handing out free gas masks?
Adding anti-tobacco spots to DVDs with smoking is necessary. DVDs with smoking harm children and teens every time they’re watched. Proven spots from experienced health organizations can reduce the impact of films with smoking. They need to be in all distribution channels, not just DVDs.
But spots don’t keep kids from being exposed in the first place. Movies rated G, PG and (mainly) PG-13 deliver at least half of young people’s exposure. The least intrusive, most effective way to keep smoking out of future youth-rated movies is to rate smoking “R.”
Of course, teens will still see some R-rated movies. That’s why leading health authorities endorse the R-rating for smoking and proven anti-tobacco spots before any film with smoking. Spots are intended as a backstop to the “R,” not a substitute for it.
Given that tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death and that films with smoking are the single biggest recruiter of new young smokers, anti-tobacco spots are the very least that media companies can do.
Spots are a start. Now, minimize the need for them.
Smoke Free Movies www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu
Smoking in movies kills in real life. Smoke Free Movie policies — the R-rating, certification of no payoffs, anti-tobacco spots, and an end to brand display — are endorsed by the World Health Organization, American Medical Association, AMA Alliance, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Legacy Foundation, American Lung Association, American Public Health Association, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, L.A. County Dept. of Health Services, New York State Dept. of Health, New York State PTA, and others. To explore this critical health issue, visit our web site or write: Smoke Free Movies, UCSF School of Medicine, San Francisco, CA 94143-1390.