U.S. film industry can take four simple steps to substantially
reduce the impact of adolescent exposure to smoking on
screen. None of these steps requires government action.
None restricts creative choices. All are voluntary and
transparent. All are based on the published research.
Together, they will avert tobacco addiction, disease and
death on a massive scale.
Health Organization issues new film
on-screen tobacco promotion, WHO
says films with smoking should trigger
adult ratings and strong anti-tobacco
spots in theaters, on DVD, cable,
satellite and other channels. WHO
also advises barring all tobacco
brand display and requiring producers
to certify that their smoking films
are free of tobacco payoffs. (Download
March 25 , 2008 —
New York State Commissioner
of Health presses largest U.S. media companies
to adopt Smoke Free
Movie's four policies
New York State Department of Health’s full-page ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal (ad #1, ad #2) outline the problem and four policy solutions, then urge public to clip and mail messages to the studios’ parent companies. Keep up the pressure!
Rate new smoking movies "R."
Any film that shows or implies tobacco should be rated
"R." The only exceptions should be when the
presentation of tobacco clearly and unambiguously reflects
the dangers and consequences of tobacco use or is necessary
to represent the smoking of a real historical figure.
we are now: In 2007, the MPAA announced that
it would "consider" smoking in film ratings,
but has yet to elevate the rating of any film for smoking.
Youth-rated films continue to deliver billions of tobacco
Certify no pay-offs.
The producers should post a certificate in the closing
credits declaring that nobody on the production received
anything of value (cash money, free cigarettes or other
gifts, free publicity, interest-free loans or anything
else) from anyone in exchange for using or displaying
we are now: In 2008, Time Warner began including
the following language in the end credits of selected
films: “No person or entity associated with this
film received payment or anything of value, or entered
into any agreement, in connection with the depiction
of tobacco products.”
anti-smoking ads. Studios and theaters
should run a proven-effective anti-smoking ad (not produced
by a tobacco company) to run before any film with any
tobacco presence, in any distribution channel, regardless
of its MPAA rating.
we are now: The Weinstein Company and the six
major studios now include effective anti-smoking spots
from the American Legacy Foundation or State of California
on DVDs, but not yet in theaters. The Disney Company
and Time Warner include the spots on their R-rated as
well as youth-rated DVDs.
tobacco brands. There should be no tobacco
brand identification in films nor the presence of tobacco
brand imagery (such as billboards) in the background
of any movie scene.
we are now: There has been no decline in tobacco
brand display since 1990.
growing majority supports smokefree movie policies
In the most recent national poll on smoking and movies,
Climate Survey of Tobacco Control (2006) found:
80 percent of U.S. adults agreed that smoking in movies
influences teens to smoke.
70 percent of adults called for R-ratings in movies
that show smoking, unless the film clearly demonstrates
the dangers of smoking or it is necessary to represent
smoking of a real historical figure.
Public support for the R-rating increased by more than
10% from previous years.
Two-thirds of adults agreed that movies should be required
to show an anti-smoking advertisement before any film
that includes smoking.
More than 60 percent wanted tobacco branding out of
all movie scenes.
Support for Smoke Free Movie policies has increased
over the previous years, especially among smokers.
The four Smoke Free
Movies policies are endorsed by:
Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
American Lung Association
Medical Association Alliance
for Nonsmokers Rights
Public Health Association
Columbia Healthy Living Alliance
School Nurses Association
Canadian Cancer Society
for Tobacco-Free Kids
Network for Smoking and Tobacco Prevention
Los Angeles Department of Health Services
Network on Tobacco Prevention and Poverty
New York State Department of Health
New York State PTA
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
US Public Interest Research Group, and others.