Ad 82

State Legislatures
Date of first publication: 
How to fix your state's tropic film incentives.
How to fix your state’s toxic film incentives. Movies with smoking, long exploited by the tobacco industry, are a primary recruiter of new young smokers. PG-13 and R-rated films account for a million US teen smokers, 44 percent of the national total. Through state subsidies, taxpayers now pay hundreds of millions to producers of films with smoking that recruit kids to smoke. These subsidies also undermine states’ vital efforts to prevent adolescents from starting to smoke. No state can now afford that policy conflict and toxic waste of resources. The fix is unusually straightforward. As the CDC recommended last summer, states can make future media productions with tobacco ineligible for public subsidy (see box). There’s no First Amendment issue. States already qualify film projects for subsidy based on other content. Whether or not you think film subsidies make sense as economic development policy, their collateral damage to the health of America’s next generation make them unsupportable. It’s time to mend them or end them. Learn more at “State and local health departments could work with state policy makers to harmonize their state movie subsidy programs with their tobacco-control programs by limiting eligibility for subsidies to tobacco-free movies.” — US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), July 15, 2011
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