As the movie industry celebrates its best at the Academy Awards this Sunday, we are revealing Hollywood’s best-kept secret: “Smoking on screen kills in real life.” Many young people’s favorite actors and actresses light up on and off the movie screen and that has an impact on whether or not they themselves ever use tobacco. The Surgeon General has concluded that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people. Exposure to on-screen smoking leads to 37% of all adolescent smokers in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that giving an R rating to films that portray smoking would prevent one million tobacco deaths among today’s youth.
This week, during Smoke-Free Movies International Week of Action, our program is joining forces with youth and adults across the nation to raise awareness about the impact that tobacco imagery in movies has on youth smoking initiation and to advocate for entertainment media companies to implement an R rating system for movies with smoking in them. If you want to show your support for keeping tobacco images out of films rated G, PG and PG-13, please sign the Smoke-Free Movies Action Network petition by clicking here.
Our Capital District Reality Check youth created a video about the problem of tobacco imagery in the media. Click here to watch the video, or watch below.