News

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2018

Can movie ratings really stop teens from smoking?

Dorri Olds | The Fix (12 Jan 2018)
“Tobacco companies used to pay studios, directors [and] actors for product placement on the screen,” said [Erika] Sward [of the American Lung Association]. “We know that was one of the ways that the tobacco industry directly marketed their products, many of which were aimed at young people. That was prior to the Master Settlement Agreement with the tobacco companies in 1998, but we still do see a great deal of tobacco use in the movies and on screen. It was way back in 1964 [that] the Surgeon General concluded that smoking causes lung cancer.” Read more...

2017

French Senator, Health Minister seek to snub out smoking in movies

Nancy Tartaglione | Deadline (22 Nov 2017)
It’s early days for this latest salvo in France’s bid to reduce the nation’s nicotine intake, and it’s unclear if there would be a move to factor smoking into the ratings system. While many agree that system is in need of an overhaul after several certifications have been challenged in recent years — mostly owing to sex and violence — one industry executive tells me of a hard crackdown on smoking: “If it’s a battle they start, I don’t believe it’s going to work. Society’s mood is going to be, ‘What? No way.’ It would be ridiculed.” Read more...

French cinephiles left fuming over call to stub out on-screen smoking

Kim Willsher | The Guardian (UK) (20 Nov 2017)
The debate was ignited after the Socialist senator Nadine Grelet-Certenais accused France’s film-makers of continuing to advertise for the tobacco industry. “Seventy per cent of new French films have at least one scene of someone smoking. This more or less helps to make its use banal, even promote it, to children and adolescents,” Grelet-Certenais told the Sénat, the upper house of parliament. Read more...

French health minister considers banning smoking from films

Rory Mulholland | The Telegraph (19 Nov 2017)
Health Minister Agnés Buzyn said she would be contacting the French culture minister - whose remit includes the country’s film industry - to discuss the issue and that so-far unspecified “measures” would be taken to make French directors and screenwriters kick their tobacco habit. Read more...

Stranger Things: How Dacre Montgomery brought Billy the bully to life

Yohana Desta | Vanity Fair (30 Oct 2017)
Montgomery, who’s not a smoker, had to learn how to make it look convincing. But the Stranger Things cast doesn’t use Hollywood-standard herbal cigarettes: they use real Marlboro Reds. Why? “The smoke plays so much thicker onscreen,” says Montgomery. Plus, he’s fairly certain that co-stars David Harbour and Winona Ryder “just wanted to smoke real cigarettes.” Over the course of a five-hour shoot, Montgomery would go through “three or four packs,” then wake up the next day with a smoke-induced hangover. Read more...

New York is throwing money at film shoots, but who benefits?

Neil Demause | The Village Voice (11 Oct 2017)
The state spends $600 million a year to subsidize film and TV productions, yet promised job and tax gains remain elusive. Read more...

UK peer accuses reality TV show of glamorising smoking

Press Association | Daily Mail (11 Oct 2017)
A clampdown has been urged at Westminster against smoking on the reality TV show Love Island amid concerns it is glamorising the habit to young viewers. Liberal Democrat peer Lord Storey said contestants on the ITV programme regularly smoked and pressed ministers over the message this sent to youngsters. Read more...

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...

India wants anti-tobacco spots on Netflix, Amazon Prime

Dhirandra Kumar | Millennium Post (3 Oct 2017)
India's Health Ministry has asked the Telecom Ministry to enforce running 30-second anti-tobacco messages before films and television programs with tobacco imagery, a policy followed by movie theaters and broadcasters but not by Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, and other streamers in India. Read more...

Trinity campaign urges Hollywood: 'R-rate' movies glamorizing cigarettes

Julie Minda | Catholic Health World (1 Oct 2017)
Making movies smoke-free could save about a million lives. That is a claim Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health makes in a public activism campaign it launched this year to end the portrayal of smoking in movies — and most especially in youth-rated films. Read more...