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A plea for less smoking in films

August 28, 2003|From Reuters

Nearly half of all U.S. states asked Hollywood Tuesday to show less smoking in films as part of an effort to reduce cigarette use among teens.

In a letter to Jack Valenti, president of the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the attorneys general of California, New York and 22 other states urged him to use his leadership to reduce the depiction of smoking on screen.

"We are hopeful you will use your best efforts again here to rally the industry from being a source of the problem," the letter said.

"Simply by reducing the depiction of smoking in movies, the industry can protect our nation's youth from the known perils of smoking."

Many glamorous movie stars of the 1930s and 1940s smoked on screen, but such depictions of smoking dropped in the postwar years as the dangers of smoking become well-known, and U.S. smoking rates dropped. Yet some studies have found more film portrayals of smoking over the last decade.

The letter to Valenti cited a Dartmouth Medical School report that said a teenager's exposure to cigarettes on film can make a significant impact on a decision to smoke.

From Reuters

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