'B'wood, H'wood should ban smoking in kids' films'
Hollywood and Bollywood - the world's most prolific film production centres - should quit showing smoking on movies aimed at children, a New Zealand anti-smoking lobby group said today.
"Smoking in kid-rated movies does not sell movies, but it does sell cigarettes," Action on Smoking and Health director Becky Freeman said in a statement.
With two out of three youth-rated Hollywood movies containing smoking and/or tobacco product placement, it was time to rate all such movies as 'R18' (Restricted to those over 18) in the New Zealand market.
"The only exceptions should be when the presentation of tobacco clearly and unambiguously reflects the dangers and consequences of tobacco use - or is necessary to represent the smoking of a real historical figure," Freeman said.
Any film that shows or implies tobacco use should be rated 'R' (restricted) and new smoking movies 'R18' she said.
These "simple changes in the rating system to exclude smoking from kids' movies would ultimately reduce youth exposure to tobacco in movies worldwide," Freeman said.
"Tobacco is the number one preventable cause of death. So why does Hollywood expose our kids to powerful tobacco images in two out of three G, PG, and R-13 (rated) movies?" Freeman asked.
Research repeatedly showed that a significant number of youth start smoking because of exposure to smoking in the movies, she said.
The group's campaign, part of a second annual International Day of Action for Smoke Free Movies, is being launched ahead of Hollywood's 78th Academy Awards on March 5.