News | Release

2019

Attorney General Becerra co-leads bipartisan coalition of 43 Attorneys General urging video streaming industry to protect young viewers from tobacco

| CA Dept of Justice (7 Aug 2019)
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson today led a bipartisan coalition of 43 attorneys general in urging the streaming industry to limit tobacco use in their video content. Due to the growing use of tobacco products amongst teens, the attorneys general urge the streaming industry to take proactive steps to protect the lives of young viewers. Read more...

State AGs ask streaming industry to protect young viewers from tobacco imagery

Allison Gilmore | NAAG (7 Aug 2019)
The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) sent letters to leading U.S. streaming services, encouraging the industry to adopt business practices that protect young viewers from tobacco imagery in video content. Letters were sent to Amazon.com, Apple, AT&T, CBS Corporation, Comcast Corporation, Discovery, The Walt Disney Company, Google, Netflix, Sony, Lionsgate, Viacom, and Walmart. Read more...

Kids widely exposed to smoking in movies

Univ. of Toronto | Science Daily (24 Jul 2019)
More than half of the top-grossing movies in Ontario in the past 16 years featured smoking, according to University of Toronto researchers with the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit -- and most of these films were rated as acceptable for youth. Read more...

Dramatic Increase In smoking imagery In shows popular with young people

Truth Initiative | Yahoo Finance (3 Jul 2019)
The report is released as millions of teens prepare to watch the season three premiere of "Stranger Things," which, for the second year in a row, is the worst offender. The show had a 44% increase in smoking from season one (182) to season two (262) and in its first two seasons, tobacco was depicted in every episode. Read more...

Health groups call on Disney to separate Vice Media and PMI

| Truth Initiative (25 Apr 2019)
A coalition of eight national and international health organizations today urged The Walt Disney Company (Disney) to require its partner network, Vice, to terminate its relationship with Philip Morris International, the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of cigarettes. Read more...

Senators query media companies on smoking

| Senator Markey (17 Apr 2019)
“Both film and television continue to expose children and adolescents to tobacco content conclusively proven to cause physical harm to young viewers,” write the Senators in their letters. “Indeed, the recent survey of tobacco content in the streaming series most popular among young viewers suggests that smoking levels in TV-MA rated shows are comparable to R-rated films and the levels in the TV-14 shows are comparable to PG-13 films.” Read more...

2018

Senators urge MPAA to assign R rating to movies with smoking

| Truth Initiative (14 Jun 2018)
The Motion Picture Association of America should act to reduce youth exposure to smoking in movies, including by issuing an R rating to movies that feature tobacco imagery, wrote seven U.S. senators in a letter to MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin. Read more...

Durbin leads call to reduce smoking in movies geared toward children & teens

| US Senate (4 Jun 2018)
The U.S. Surgeon General has definitively concluded that exposure to smoking in movies leads to youth initiation, but enactment of certain public health policies could reduce youth smoking rates by nearly 20% and prevent one million deaths. Read more...

Sen. Markey leads call to minimize depictions of smoking in kid-rated movies

Giselle Barry | US Senate (4 Jun 2018)
“Although the evidence connecting smoking imagery to youth smoking initiation is strong, MPAA has yet to take meaningful action to discourage tobacco imagery in films or effectively warn viewers and parents of tobacco’s presence in a movie,” write the Senators in their letter to MPAA Chairman and CEO Charles Rivkin. “Our nation’s dramatic decline in youth tobacco use is a tremendous achievement, but on-screen depictions remain a threat to this progress and threaten to re-normalize tobacco use in our society. We cannot afford to lose any ground in this area.” Read more...

Trinity Health and other investors caution smokefree Disney on purchase of "tobacco-contaminated" Fox movies

Trinity Health | GlobalNewswire (25 Apr 2018)
Top executives of Philip Morris (later Altria) and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (later Fox) served on each other’s boards of directors for twenty-five years, from 1989 to 2013. A 1985 memorandum from the tobacco company’s CEO, discovered in the course of lawsuits against the tobacco company, named Mr. Murdoch as a media proprietor “sympathetic with our position … an ally that we can and should exploit.” Read more...

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