News | Release

2019

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...

Commons Committee warned that smoking on TV and in films is encouraging child take-up

ASH | Action on Smoking and Health (15 Apr 2018)
In a strongly worded submission to the Select Committee on Science and Technology ASH and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol studies warn that smoking on TV and in films encourages children to take up smoking. They point out that children in the UK are still exposed to significant amounts of smoking on screen and that it is the amount of smoking that is important, not whether it is glamourised or not. Read more...

New report from Truth Initiative® illustrates alarming rise of tobacco use in streaming content and pervasive smoking images on cable and broadcast TV

Truth Initiative | PR Newswire (16 Mar 2018)
Majority of programs popular with young audiences prominently depict smoking, with "Stranger Things" the worst offender. Read more...

Alberta gov't gets another unhealthy report card on tobacco reduction

| Smoke-Free Alberta (18 Jan 2018)
The [provincial] government received an “F” for failing to protect Alberta youth from the depiction of smoking in youth-rated movies and a “D” for not implementing and enforcing approved legislation to prohibit tobacco sales to minors. [Full report at http://bit.ly/2FYcwdx] Read more...

2017

Investors demand action from Hollywood on smoking in youth-rated films

| As You Sow (3 Oct 2017)
Investors with $64 billion urge Hollywood studios to make youth-rated movies tobacco-free, as a new web-platform from As You Sow tracks investments in tobacco and entertainment companies that promote tobacco to kids. Read more...

Leading health groups demand film industry give R rating to movies that depict smoking

| American Lung Association (29 Aug 2017)
"The U.S. Surgeon General has concluded that exposure to onscreen smoking such as in movies causes young people to start smoking," said National President and CEO of the American Lung Association Harold P. Wimmer. "To help protect our youth from smoking-related disease and a lifetime of tobacco addiction, the American Lung Association supports giving an R rating to all movies with instances of smoking in them. This is a commonsense step that will save lives." Read more...

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