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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Progress in Efforts to Cut Back on Smoking in Movies for Kids

posted by Nell Minow

MedPage reports that smoking is down in movies rated G, PG, and PG-13.

Overall, there were about 72% fewer on-screen appearances of smoking and tobacco products in G, PG, and PG-13 movies in 2010 than there were in 2005, according to Stanton Glantz, PhD, of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues…

For the three studios that had actual written policies to reduce tobacco use in their movies, there was an average drop of 95.8% in tobacco appearances, compared with a fall of just 41.7% for the three major studios and some independent film companies that had no such policies.

Among the three with anti-tobacco policies, 88.2% of their top-grossing youth films never featured smoking or tobacco, compared with 57.4% of those from companies without policies.

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“This finding indicates that an enforceable policy aimed at reducing tobacco use in youth-rated movies can lead to substantially fewer tobacco incidents in movies and help prevent adolescent initiation of smoking,” Glantz and colleagues wrote.

Advocacy groups have urged film studios not to make smoking look glamorous and sophisticated.  The study relied on scenesmoking.org, which has detailed documentation of  the frequency and context of smoking in movies and the impact it has on young viewers.  The World Health Organization has recommended an automatic R rating for any movie with tobacco smoking, except for those like “Good Night and Good Luck,” where the smoking is included for historical accuracy.

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