Why do so many kids still start to smoke? America removed cigarette commercials from TV and radio nearly fifty years ago. But kid-rated movies — especially PG-13 movies — still push smoking at children and teens. Between 2010 and 2018, smoking in PG-13 films more than doubled!
Smoking in movies kills in real life. Smoking on screen will recruit six million American kids to smoke in this generation. Two million of those kids will die from cancer and other diseases caused by smoking. Parents and health advocates demand a reasonable solution to this urgent problem.
America’s #1 killer deserves the R-rating. R-rating future movies with smoking will keep smoking OUT of movies rated G, PG and PG-13 — the movies that kids see most — and cut young audiences’ deadly risk in half. The CDC says the R-rating will protect three million kids from tobacco addiction, America’s #1 cause of preventable death. Film producers will still be able to include smoking in any movie they want, accepting an R-rating just as they routinely do for other content.
Why won’t Hollywood act? The major movie studios and movie theater chains run the film ratings. They know the harm done by onscreen smoking. Their leaders could update the R-rating tomorrow but, so far, they’ve refused. The tobacco industry, far richer than Hollywood, has a long history of exploiting movies to sell smoking, using paid product placement and other tactics. Movies are the last media channel pushing tobacco at kids, completely unrestricted. When it comes to life and death, Hollywood must follow a simple rule:
One little letter “R” will save one million lives.