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Less Lighting Up in Movies Aimed at Kids
Date:7/15/2011

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 14 (HealthDay News) -- The number of films that children are likely to see that include smoking has dropped for the fifth year in a row, a new report finds.

Overall, there has been a nearly 72 percent drop since 2005 in smoking images in movies rated G, PG or PG-13 -- from 2,093 incidents of onscreen smoking to 595 in 2010. In addition, the average number of smoking incidents in youth-rated films dropped more than 66 percent -- from about 20 percent in 2005 to 6.8 percent in 2010.

"This study shows that studios know how to eliminate smoking from youth-rated movies and have nothing to fear from a policy requiring them to do so," said Vince Willmore, a spokesman for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "The Motion Picture Association of America should move quickly to adopt a policy requiring an R-rating for any movie that depicts smoking that is not in a historical setting."

However, the drop in onscreen smoking varied depending on the motion picture company, according to researchers led by Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California, San Francisco. His team found that from 2005 to 2010, companies that had policies to reduce onscreen smoking had an average decrease in depictions of almost 96 percent, compared with about 42 percent among companies that have no such policies.

Speaking at the press conference, Glantz, director of the Smoke Free Movies Project, was more specific about why smoking in youth-rated movies has decreased dramatically.

"The reason is that three of the studios, Time Warner, Disney and Comcast/Universal, have eliminated smoking from their youth-rated films," he said, "whereas News Corp/Twentieth Century Fox, Viacom/Paramount and Sony/Columbia/Screen Gems, as well as the independents, have made much less progress. Future progress is going to depend on getting the
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