Movie Ratings & Smoking - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/12/07

Movie Ratings & Smoking

Movies are now rated based on sexual content, violence and foul language. But Monday, the American Medical Association Alliance called on Hollywood to give any movie depicting smoking an "R" rating.

This is because new research shows smoking in PG and PG-13 movies is encouraging thousands of teens to start lighting up. Movies like Talladega Nights, a PG-13 and a hit last year. The alliance cites a new poll saying this change in the ratings is what most parents want. But even among parents, the idea is controversial.

"Seventy-percent of adults and parents believe that a movie should be rated "R" if it shows smoking unless it's for historical reasons,"said Dr. Robert McMillen, a researcher of the Mississippi State University.

"If we can't teach our kids and grand kids in our homes as they're being brought up that smoking is bad for your health, why are we putting it on someone else?" said parent Maria Costa.

The alliance says their research shows that smoking in movies recruits close to 400,000 adolescent smokers each year eventually killing over a third of them and even tobacco companies like Philip Morris have launched campaigns calling on the Motion Picture Association to voluntarily eliminate smoking in movies acknowledging that it can influence a child to light up. Meanwhile, the motion picture association isn't commenting yet. But they've been asked this before and nothing has changed yet.

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