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Wednesday July 25, 2007 4:09 pm
Disney to Ban Smoking in All Future Releases
Two months ago, the MPAA announced that any films submitted for rating would now be scrutinized for instances of cigarette smoking, particularly when it is glamorized. This new regulation was aimed at keeping these images away from the eyes of young, malleable children, and could affect said film’s rating, though the deciding criteria remains unknown. Now family-friendly juggernaut Disney has become the first major Hollywood studio to back the MPAA’s anti-smoking decision to help keep cigarettes away from the youth of America.
The decision was made as a result of recent studies exploring the affect current films have on children given the ubiquitous nature of these images — the results don’t look good. It seems that 90 percent of all films depict smoking, and that children with the highest exposure to these films are three times more likely to try smoking.
In addition to banning smoking in all upcoming releases, Disney has said it will place anti-smoking public service announcements on any future DVDs that feature smoking, and they are encouraging theater owners to do the same on the big screen. The company’s two other labels, Touchstone and Miramax, will also be strongly discouraged from producing or distributing movies with images of smoking, though how strong the discouragement remains unclear.
Disney may be taking an important step in the fight against this national health crisis, but film is only a small piece of the pie. It is up to our government to implement proper anti-smoking education for children — a quick PSA before a movie will do nothing. And it helps to remember that smoking, unlike violence or sexual imagery, is around children all the time, wherever they go. The only way to make real change is with parents who feel a need to protect their children. Light a fire under them, and the problem will smoke itself.
Read More | Reuters
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