Ad 62

Date of first publication: 
The world just changed for kid-rated movies with smoking.
The world just changed for kid-rated movies with smoking. On June 1, the United Nations’ health authority, the Geneva-based World Health Organization (WHO), declared in a new global report: “Any future film with tobacco imagery should be given an adult rating, with the possible exception of films that reflect the dangers and consequences of tobacco use or depict smoking by an actual historical figure who smoked.” Giving future films with tobacco imagery “adult” status (“R” in the US, “18” in the UK, “A” in India, and so on) will permanently and substantially reduce adolescents’ on-screen tobacco exposure — averting hundreds of thousands of tobacco deaths in the United States and millions more around the world. An estimated 95% of US films are exported. Many only become profitable in overseas distribution. In the future, the only way to make certain that US films can reach young audiences everywhere will be to make these movies smokefree. To future-proof movies, calibrate tobacco imagery the same way filmmakers now routinely calibrate sex, violence and language. It’s that simple. According to WHO, films with smoking already in distribution should trigger strong anti-tobacco spots in theaters, on DVD, cable, satellite and other channels. It also advises barring all tobacco brand display and requiring producers to certify that their smoking films are free of tobacco payoffs. Already, nations around the world are taking regulatory action to protect the largest generation of kids in history. Producers and directors invest years in a movie. To give every youth-rated film project a chance to find its largest audience and keep on earning, just leave out the smoking. And welcome the world.
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