It causes heart disease, lung disease, and cancer.
80-90% of smokers start in their teens.
Youth Smoking Rates
3,900 kids tried their first cigarette today.
2,000 became addicted today.
Almost 90% of adults who have ever been regular smokers began smoking by the time they were 18.
Average age at first cigarette: 15
87% of R-rated movies depict tobacco.
75% of PG-13 movies depict tobacco.
40% of G and PG movies depict tobacco.
Smoking in the Movies
In 2008, 65% of tobacco impressions (11.7 billion) were in PG-13 films.
G/PG films delivered another 200 million tobacco impressions.
Since the late 1990s, the number of films that are smoke-free has been growing.
However, less than 50% of all films, including youth-rated (G/PG/PG-13) films, are smoke-free.
Smoking in the Movies
The Problem? Movies Recruit Youth to Smoke !
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has named tobacco in the movies a major factor in teen smoking.
In 2007, the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences concluded that:
Exposure to smoking in movies is related to increased positive attitudes toward smoking and characters who smoke, and these positive views are particularly popular among youth who themselves smoke.
Exposure to smoking in movies increases the risk for smoking initiation.
In 2008, the US National Cancer Institute concluded:
The total weight of evidence from studies show that smoking in movies can cause youth smoking initiation.
Nonsmoking teens whose favorite stars smoke on screen are 16 times more likely to develop positive attitudes about smoking.
Smoking in movies accounts for approximately 52% of teens who start smoking!
For kids with parents who are smokers, watching movies with smoking tripled the odds that teens would try smoking.
Exposure to smoking in the movies quadruples the chance that the child of nonsmoking parents will start smoking.
Smoking in the Movies is NOT Realistic.
In the real world, tobacco causes heart disease, premature wrinkling of the skin, lung disease, cancer and more. In the movies, smokers are powerful, successful and healthy.
In the real world, smoking kills smokers and secondhand smoke kills nonsmokers.
Men in Black 2 (PG-13)
Men in Black 2 (again)
Smoking in Avatar Avatar came out in 2009, and was supposed to be set in the future. Grace, a scientist, played by Sigourney Weaver, is a smoker. Many smoking in the movies advocacy groups targeted James Cameron and said that he made a mistake by including smoking in Avatar.
Stanton A. Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco, argues that the smoking scenes in “Avatar” amount to millions of dollars in free advertising for cigarette manufacturers.
Scenesmoking.org gave Avatar a “black lung” rating, the worst rating given.
“ I wanted Grace to be a character who is initially off-putting and even unpleasant. She’s rude, she swears, she drinks, she smokes. She is not meant to be an aspirational role model to teenagers —” -James Cameron, Director of Avatar, in response to criticism about smoking in his movie “ I do agree that young role-model characters should not smoke in movies, especially in a way which suggests that it makes them cooler or more accepted by their peers. In the same way that I would never show lying, cheating, stealing or killing as cool, or aspirational, I would never portray smoking that way.” -James Cameron
James Cameron, like many directors, used the excuse that he is an “artist” and “Movies should reflect reality. If it’s O.K. for people to lie, cheat, steal and kill in PG-13 movies, why impose an inconsistent morality when it comes to smoking?”
Rebuttal: Smoking does happen in reality, but so does lung cancer and emphysema, which are not shown in his movie.
“‘ Smoking, Mr. Cameron concluded, ‘is a filthy habit which I don’t support, and neither, I believe, does Avatar.’ ”
School of Rock (PG-13)
X-Men 2 (PG-13)
Movie Studios Response: Smoking in the Movies
Disney statement “ Disney has determined not to depict smoking in movies produced by the Company that carries the Disney brand, except in limited circumstances. “ Disney must also consider the creative vision of directors…. we seek to respect their views when they honestly believe the depiction of smoking is important to a movie.”
Disney statement, 2007
Disney released a statement that they would include anti-smoking public service announcements on DVDs of future films that feature cigarette smoking.
Disney cartoon characters who have smoked
Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmatians
Pinnochio in Pinnochio
Caterpillar used a hookah Alice in Wonderland
Ariel in the Little Mermaid
Children and Captain Hook in Peter Pan
Miss Spider in James and the Giant Peach
Tobacco Depictions in Films
Time Warner filmed entertainment companies:
do not enter into any product placement or promotion deals with tobacco companies for any films.
endeavor to reduce or eliminate depictions of smoking and tobacco products/brands from all English-language motion pictures it produces and/or distributes in the United States rated G, PG, and PG-13.
unless (a) the depiction involves a character who is an actual historical figure known to have used tobacco products; (b) the depiction is warranted for reasons of compelling historical accuracy; or (c) the depiction is part of a conspicuous anti-smoking reference.
Reducing Tobacco Depictions in Films
Since 2005, none of their G-rated films have included smoking references of any kind.
In 2007, 27% of films rated PG or PG-13 contained tobacco depictions compared to 32% in 2006 & 48% in 2005.
Films that depict tobacco products & were released in theaters after January 1, 2008 include a strong anti-smoking PSA for DVDs in North America.
No policy found
No policy is listed on Sony’s site
Sony has made some of the worst offending, recent smoking in the movies films including:
It’s no wonder they’re getting away with making all of these movies with smoking !
Johnny Depp smoking an e-cigarette in The Tourist
Reality Check, New York
Reality Check in New York held an action in 2009, targeting Sony for their lack of policy
Here was a jingle they sang outside of the Sony building to the Frosted Flakes song:
“ Hey, Sony, we hate the things you do. Hey, Sony, if we could we would sue you. You’re one of many companies that try to target teens, so get those dang cigarettes off our movie screens. They’re more than bad. They kill!”
Accountability- Time Warner & Disney
Make sure all DVDs you watch with tobacco occurrences have an anti-smoking public service announcement.
Watch out for new movies that have smoking in them:
Does it have a historical basis?
Was it necessary to include tobacco occurrences?
The Toll of Smoking in Movies
From 1999-2008 :
Smoking in movies produced by the top seven studios has recruited more than 390,000 teens to smoke
… which will result in 120,000 deaths.
… and produced $4.1 billion in tobacco sales revenue.
… which is a total of $832 million in profit for the tobacco companies.
Rate future movies with smoking “R.”
Require producers to declare during the closing credits that no one involved in the making of the film received anything in exchange for displaying tobacco products during the movie.
Require theaters to play anti-smoking public service announcements before films with tobacco occurrences, regardless of the movie’s ratings.
Do not allow tobacco brand identification in movies .
Is the R-rating Censorship?
The movie industry controls the rating system.
Filmmakers already control sex, violence, and language to meet current rating requirements---and tobacco use harms more Americans than violence!
These policies are supported by:
World Health Organization
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Heart Association
American Legacy Foundation
American Lung Association
American Medical Association
American Medical Association Alliance
Americans for Nonsmokers Rights
American Public Health Association
California School Nurses Association
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Los Angeles Department of Health Services
National Network on Tobacco Prevention and Poverty
New York State Department of Health
New York State PTA
Oklahoma State PTA
Society for Adolescent Medicine
US Public Interest Research Group, and MORE…
It’s Time for YOU to Take Action! What can you do?
Actions You Can Take
Pass a Resolution
Sign the Global Petition
Contact the Actors
Lights… Camera… ACTION!
Three Hollywood studios make 60% of all movies with smoking. Who are their corporate partners?
Action 1: Write Letters!
Put pressure on the CEOS of the companies that own the major movie studios (Disney, Time Warner and Sony). Take the time to write a personalized letter about smoking in their youth-rated movies.
Action 1: Write Letters! Robert Iger, CEO THE DISNEY COMPANY 500 S. Buena Vista St. Burbank, CA 91521-9722 Fax: 818-560-1930 Sir Howard Stringer, CEO SONY CORPORATION 550 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10022 Fax: 212-833-6956 Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO TIME WARNER 1 Time Warner Center New York, NY 10019 Fax: 212-489-6183
Action 1: Write Letters! Dear Mr. Iger, I am deeply concerned about what your company’s movies are teaching American youth about smoking. The research says that 75% of PG-13 movies show smoking. That’s outrageous . The movies YOU help fund are recruiting new kids to start smoking. For kids with parents who are smokers, watching movies with smoking triples the odds that teens will try smoking. And exposure to smoking in the movies quadruples the chance that the child of nonsmoking parents will take up smoking. Tell your studios to stop making movies with smoking. This is your chance to help save thousands of lives. Sincerely…
You can also write letters to the theaters!
Educate them on smoking in the movies and explain how they can help reduce exposure by showing anti-tobacco PSAs before movies with smoking in them and restricting admissions to youth-rated movies with smoking to those eligible for rated R movies.
When you write one letter to the local theater, copy it to the chain headquarters and NATO.
Action 1: Write Letters! Local Theater National Chain National Association of Theater Owners (NATO)
Action 2: Pass a Resolution!
Introducing a city council, county board, or state legislature resolution is a great way to educate people about smoking in movies and to put pressure on the motion picture studios.
Step 1: Find a member of your city council, county board, or state legislature most likely to support the resolution.
If you can’t find someone in support of a resolution, create support! Gather signatures on a petition write letters to the editor of your local paper to get the issue some media attention.
Step 2: Step up a time to meet with them.
Step 3: Before your meeting, email a short letter explaining the issue and why it is important.
Step 4: Make sure to bring a couple other people with you. Give the person you are meeting with a packet of resources, including a copy of the resolution, facts about smoking in movies, and letters of support from local decision-makers and national organizations.
Step 5: When your resolution passes, don’t forget to let the media know!
Write letters to top actors who regularly have smoking roles in movies. Educate them about the effect smoking in movies has on teens.
Do you know how many stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame were killed by tobacco?
If you have younger brothers or sisters, would you want them to smoke?
Did you know you can save lives by simply not smoking on screen?
Did you know Hollywood popularized smoking for women?
Did you know that smoking in U.S. movies accounts for 52% of the kids who start smoking?
Action 4: Contact the Actors
Actors who smoke on-screen
Vince Vaughn ( The Break-Up )
JK Simmons ( Spider Man 2&3)
Jamie Foxx ( Dreamgirls )
Johnny Depp ( The Tourist )
Sigourney Weaver ( Avatar )
*All movies are rated PG-13
Actors who smoke off-screen
Taylor Momsen ( Gossip Girl )
Robert Pattinson (Twilight)
Katherine Heigl ( 27 Dresses)
Action 4: Contact the Actors
United Talent Agency
9560 Wilshire Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2401 USA
Phone: (310) 273-6700
Fax: (310) 247-1111
Paradigm Talent Agency
360 North Crescent Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Vince Vaughn Wild West Picture Show Productions 100 Universal City Plaza Bungalow 4144 Universal City, CA 91608 Fax: 818-733-5980 JK Simmons c/o The Gersh Agency 9465 Wilshire Blvd. Beverly Hills, CA 90212 Action 4: Contact the Actors