Free Movies has launched a series of print advertisements
in Variety and other publications. This advertisement
first ran on January 12, 2010 in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety.
in a Series
“Who’s got my goddamn cigarette?
Guys? What’s wrong with this picture?” —
Sigourney Weaver in
Smoking in kid-rated movies. Now in 3D.
For every $100 million it earns at the box office, Avatar (News Corp, Dune, Ingenious) will deliver an estimated forty million tobacco impressions to theater audiences. By the time it reaches Blu-Ray, VOD and broadband, Avatar’s smoking scenes could be worth the equivalent of $50 million in broadcast cigarette ads. Of course, the United States outlawed cigarette commercials forty years ago.
Did Big Tobacco pay for this? Taxpayers did.
Cameron's 1990s blockbuster Titanic gave Marlboro a
spot on screen and showed a young woman declaring independence
by taking up cigarettes —an anachronism in 1912.
Avatar's smoker in 2154, equally implausibly, is a mature
scientist. Yet Avatar's tobacco imagery scored $30 million
in public subsidies, according to the LA Times. Today,
the public is not only charged for 3D glasses to watch
tobacco promotion, it pays for it again at tax time.
film industry defends smoking as realistic. It's not.
Avatar is an extraterrestrial out-of-body experience, most of it animated. In real life, lung cancer kills more US women than breast cancer, thanks in part to decades of deals between the tobacco and film industries. In the US, New Zealand and other countries, more girls than boys aged 13-15 now smoke cigarettes. And study after study worldwide finds that US movies are the main recruiter of new young smokers.
wrong with this picture?
entertaining to dream about saving an alien society
from ruthless corporate forces. But protecting our own
kids from commercial exploitation is the real thing.
Studios claim they try to "discourage" smoking
on a film-by-film basis. Avatar and other films released
this winter are more proof that this just doesn't work.
The answer? An industry-wide standard.
R-rate future smoking. It will set G, PG and PG-13 films smokefree.
Equally Unreal: Smoking in Did You Hear About the Morgans? (PG-13: Sony), The Blind Side (PG-13: Time Warner), Sherlock Holmes (PG-13: TW), Nine (PG-13: Weinstein), and Fantastic Mr. Fox (animated, PG: News Corp.)
Smoke Free Movies
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, Americans
for Nonsmokers' Rights, American Public Health Association,
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Los Angeles County Department
of Health Services, New York State Department of Health,
New York State PTA, and many others. Visit our web site
or write: Smoke Free Movies, UCSF School of Medicine,
San Francisco, CA 94143-1390.
Variety version text varies slightly: "Sigourney
Weaver's character in Avatar, PG-13" in attribution;
"computer-generated" for "animated."