State attorneys general

State Attorneys General have been involved in the issue of smoking on screen since before the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement they negotiated with US tobacco companies to end tobacco promotion aimed at young people. Attorneys General from most states have now asked the US entertainment industry to eliminate smoking from youth-rated films and TV shows.  

Map of states whose Attorneys General asked media companies to keep smoking out of programs streamed toi young people Attorneys general for states in dark green signed the 2019 letter to America's largest media companies. Also signing: AGs for Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and Washington, DC.

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In 2012, thirty-eight state and territorial Attorneys General named four 'specific, meaningful' steps that America's media companies and their studio subsidiaries 'can and should take to reduce this harm substantially':

• Eliminate smoking from youth-rated movies...include anti-tobacco spots in all media before films with smoking, regardless of rating...certify no tobacco pay-offs in closing credits...and keep tobacco brands out of all future films. Read the letter

In 2019, forty-three Attorneys General made specific recommendations to media companies with on-demand and streaming services:

• Eliminate smoking in all youth-rated, streamed material, including original shows...rate all future titles with smoking R or TV-MA... recommend films and shows with smoking only to adult viewers...enable parents to block titles with tobacco content, regardless of rating...and run "strong" anti-tobacco or anti-vaping spots before any programs with tobacco imagery, regardless of rating. Read the letter 

Is your state's Attorney General among the many who support these reasonable, life-saving policies? If so, thank them for tackling one of the biggest public health challenges in our communities. If not, make sure they have all the facts.