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Too Much Hollywood And Bollywood Smoking

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)

28 February 2006

Hollywood & Bollywood Receive Failing Grade For Smoking In Movies

Youth, parents and public health leaders around the world seek action re:
world¡¦s two most prolific movie industries¡¦ continued promotion of smoking to youth

Two out of three kid-rated Hollywood movies promote smoking to kiwi kids.

Today, Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) will launch a media campaign that brings to light the true effects of smoking in kid-rated movies and urges parents to ask Hollywood to get smoking out of kid-rated movies. This is done as part of second annual International Day of Action for Smoke Free Movies, leading up to Hollywood¡¦s 78th Academy Awards this weekend.

¡§Scientific data repeatedly have shown that a significant number of youth start smoking because of exposure to smoking in the movies,¡¨ says Becky Freeman, Director, ASH NZ, ¡§We are asking Hollywood to stop pushing disease and addiction on youth by making simple changes in their rating system, which will ultimately reduce youth exposure to tobacco in movies worldwide.

¡§Smoking in kid-rated movies does not sell movies, but it does sell cigarettes.¡¨

Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and dozens of other groups around the world is demanding that Hollywood stop delivering youth to the tobacco industry by promoting smoking and luring youth worldwide into a lifetime of addiction and disease, and ultimately premature death.

Two out of three youth-rated (U.S.) Hollywood movies contain smoking and/or tobacco product placement. And in 2005, Hollywood won 50% of its box office sales outside North America, which means that millions of youth in the U.S. and around the world were exposed to smoking in movies last year.

¡§Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death. So why does Hollywood expose our kids to powerful tobacco images in two out of three G, PG, and R-13 movies? I urge NZ parents to stand up and protect your kids¡¦ health by asking Hollywood to get smoking out of kid-rated movies,¡¨ say Ms Freeman.

ASH New Zealand urges parents to voice their opinion on this important issue.
Text ASH ¡§followed by a space and then your opinion¡¨ to 8080, visit the ASH website www.ash.org.nz, or email ashnz@ash.org.nz (sub: Smokefree Movies) and tell us how you feel about Hollywood exploiting your kids¡¦ health.
ASH NZ urgently recommends that following strategies be implemented to prevent youth from being influenced to take up smoking through the movies:

1. Rate new smoking movies "R-18¡¨.
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.

2. 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 tobacco.

3. Require strong anti-smoking ads.
Studios and theaters should require a genuinely strong anti-smoking ad (not one produced by a tobacco company) to run before any film with any tobacco presence, in any distribution channel, regardless of its rating.

4. Stop identifying tobacco brands.
There should be neither tobacco brand identification nor the presence of tobacco brand imagery (such as billboards) in the background of any movie scene.
For more information on smoking in movies & the solutions go to:
www.ash.org.nz (New Zealand). Pls find copy of the advertisement in the fact sheet
www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu (General)
www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/international.html (International Day of Action)

FACTSHEET: Smoking in the Movies

28 February 2006

HAS THE MOVIE INDUSTRY MOVED TO PROTECT OUR CHILDREN?

ON THE GRAVEST RISK OF ALL, THE ANSWER IS ¡§NO¡¨

WHICH MAJOR STUDIOS MAKE THE MOST SMOKING KID-RATED MOVIES
2002 # of smoking kid-rated movies % of all its kid-rated movies
Disney 14 67%
Warner 10 59%
Sony 10 77%
Universal 8 73%
Fox 7 64%
Paramount 7 67%
DreamWorks 6 100%
MGM 4 80%

Smoking in movies is one of the most significant health threats to children in New Zealand. Tobacco on screen is a powerful recruiter of new smokers, most of whom begin by age 18. Smoking scenes in youth-rated movies effectively replace almost every smoker who dies.

FACT At least 50 percent of smokers will die due to smoking related illness.

FACT A 2004 research done by ASH in conjunction with the University of Auckland, conducted with 12-17 year-olds, evaluated the effectiveness of screening an anti-smoking advertisement before a film that contained smoking. The result showed that the intervention decreased the acceptability of on-screen smoking and caused viewers to recognize the pervasive nature of smoking in the film.

FACT Two out of three movies rated G, PG, or R-13 movies showed smoking or tobacco products.

FACT Beginning in 2002, the total amount of smoking in movies was greater in youth-rated (G, PG, R-13) films than adult-rated films. This significantly increases adolescent exposure to movie smoking.

FACT Major Studios will only stop pushing cigarettes in youth-rated movies when the political and economic costs of killing their own audience outweigh whatever benefit they can possibly derive from doing Big Tobacco¡¦s dirty work.

Tobacco industry quotes

ƒæ ¡§Our Primary objective will remain the same, to have smoking featured in a prominent way, especially when it is tied favourably with celebrities.¡¨ Letter written to President of RJ Reynolds Tobacco from its PR firm in 1981.
ƒæ ¡§Many times we can get a display, a sign, a t-shirt, a logo, etc inserted into a positive scene, even when the product may not be used in the movie. This gives us a real life environment into which your name is used.¡¨ John McGinn, Advertising Director for American Tobacco Company.

ASH New Zealand Recommendations

1. Rate new smoking movies "R-18".
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.

2. 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 tobacco.

3. Require strong anti-smoking ads.
Studios and theaters should require a genuinely strong anti-smoking ad (not one produced by a tobacco company) to run before any film with any tobacco presence, in any distribution channel, regardless of its rating.

4. Stop identifying tobacco brands.
There should be neither tobacco brand identification nor the presence of tobacco brand imagery (such as billboards) in the background of any movie scene.

(US facts courtesy: Smoke Free Movies Action Network, USA)


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