Movies Encourage Youth to Start Smoking

Di Caprio Smoking

Activists from Canadian tobacco-control coalition addressed the Ontario Film Review Board a proposal to toughen its ratings for movies that have scenes with smoking. They say that this will help to prevent youth from picking up the smoking habit and become addicted to it.

The coalition asked OFRB to give a rate of 18A to any new film containing smoking-related scene. This will demand young people under 18 to watch the movie with an adult. In Manitoba and Maritimes, a rating of 18A  also means that kids under 14 years old are not allowed to watch the movie.

Lorraine Fry, executive chief of the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association, says that in Ontario, 90% of top films are permitted for kids and teenagers.

Now in Canadian cinemas are shown the next movies:
– “The Imitation Game” (PG – parental guidance);
– “Mortdecai” (suitable for age 14 and older);
– “Paddington” (OFRB-rated G – suitable for all ages);
– “Taken 3″ (suitable for age 14 and older).

Though in Canada is prohibited to advertise and promote tobacco use, movies still remain a form of tobacco use promotion.

According to  Fry, actors in movies are perfect example for kids. Kids tend to copy them from clothing to habits. It is easy to understand that when a kid sees smoking in a movie he considers it is cool and normal thing ,and then starts smoking himself.

However, movies depicting a historical character who smoked will not be rated as 18A in Ontario.

Bruce Davis,  OFRB chair, said that when ranking a movie, citizen panel takes into consideration such content issues as violence, sexuality and nudity. In 2013 there was allowed to note such specific content as tobacco use. It should be said that other regional review boards have their own rating criteria.

Davis considers that it is necessary to find a balance between protection of kids from tobacco use and movie makers right of expression. Too many movies may be rates 18A, because smoking is part of people’s lifestyles and culture, but cannot keep kids from watching them.

However, studies demonstrate that exposure to smoking in movies is key reason young people start lighting up, therefore it is necessary to take measures to prevent it.

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