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AAP Calls for an End to 'Toxic' Tobacco Content in Hollywood Movies
Date:2/19/2008

CHICAGO, Feb. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hollywood movies deliver billions of tobacco impressions to young audiences annually, and this poses one of the gravest threats to U.S. teens, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). On-screen tobacco recruits 390,000 new teen smokers each year in the U.S alone, and U.S. films take in 58 percent of movie box office sales globally, so this toxic tobacco content is also causing harm around the world. The AAP joins many other health groups in calling on the movie industry to stop toxic tobacco content in films and make youth-rated movies smoke free.

"On-screen tobacco is an enormous risk to our kids," said Renee Jenkins, MD, FAAP, president of AAP. "Movies with tobacco help to recruit one-third to one-half of young smokers in the U.S., and studies overseas find similar effects on young people there."

U.S. films with tobacco imagery -- 75 percent of all U.S. releases -- have delivered an estimated 44 billion tobacco impressions to theater audiences in the United States alone, one quarter of these to children and adolescents. Studio policies so far have not led to substantial changes in mainstream PG-13 tobacco content. Analysis by University of California-San Francisco of the first six months of 2007 finds that Hollywood's tobacco profile is unchanged. Thirty-six percent of G/PG movies, 69 percent of PG-13 movies, and 86 percent of R-rated movies contained tobacco during this period.

For years, leading U.S. health groups and the United Nations World Health Organization have urged Hollywood to take voluntary steps to reduce teen exposure to tobacco imagery on screen. The AAP urges the entertainment industry to immediately adopt four Smoke Free Movie policies:

1. Rate new smoking movies "R."

Any film that shows or implies tobacco should be rated "R." The only exceptions should be when the presentation of tobacco clearly and unambiguously reflects the dangers and conseque
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SOURCE American Academy of Pediatrics
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