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AMA Alliance Warns Parents About Smoking in 'The Incredible Hulk,' Other Summer Blockbusters
Date:6/10/2008

as stated, "I don't smoke, and ... I am not a fan of gratuitous smoking in films." And after Marvel Comics' editor-in-chief, Joe Quesada, lost his father to smoking-related lung disease, he took the bold step of removing all smoking from Marvel characters that previously smoked.

"Movies remain a major influence on our children, affecting their behavior and shaping their perceptions of what is normal -- and even 'cool,'" added Fenyk. "The motion picture industry knows this and has taken action by giving an R rating to movies that depict drug and alcohol use, strong language or sexual behavior, and violence. Yet smoking, the deadliest of all addictions, continues in youth-rated films, even when their own industry colleagues oppose smoking in films."

Experts estimate that 3,900 children ages 12-17 try their first cigarette every day in the United States. Studies also prove that 35 percent of new smoking in children ages 9-12 can be attributed to exposure to smoking in movies -- and that exposure to such tobacco imagery predicts established smoking behavior in adolescents.

May 10th marked the one year anniversary of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) announcing a change to its rating systems for movies with smoking. They stated that "all smoking will be considered" with the goal being to enhance "the amount of information provided to parents on the issue of smoking in films."

But a year later, the MPAA continues to give PG and PG-13 ratings to films with smoking. According to an analysis by public health advocates of top box office films released in the 12 months following the MPAA announcement, 38 percent of G and PG movies and 58 percent of PG-13 movies featured tobacco products. More than half of all top box office films with smoking in the 2007-2008 time period were youth-rated.

The same 12-month study found that 9 out of 10 youth-rated films carried no tobacco warning in its description at all, and there is no eviden
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SOURCE American Medical Association
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