print header

News Release

Oscar nominated films bombard kids and youth with tobacco imagery

Feb 17, 2012
Kids and teens going to see Rango, or any of the 26 youth-rated, Oscar nominated films up for awards at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, are being bombarded with tobacco images that work to entice them to become tobacco users themselves.

Kids and teens going to see Rango, or any of the 26 youth-rated, Oscar nominated films up for awards at the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony, are being bombarded with tobacco images that work to entice them to become tobacco users themselves.

“Smoking scenes in movies don’t sell movie tickets, they sell smoking,” says Leslie Gordon, tobacco coordinator with the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. “And this will continue until Hollywood stops putting tobacco products and smoking in youth-rated movies.”

As an example, Gordon points to the cartoon movie Rango, nominated for best animated feature film. It shows tobacco more than 50 times during its 105 minutes. Smoking scenes are also found throughout Hugo, Jane Eyre, Moneyball and The Help to name a few of the films that are rated for children and teens (G, PG, 14A) in Ontario.

The use of films to attract youth smokers is not new. A report by Physicians for Smoke Free Canada showed that in 2009, Canadian theatres delivered over 1.1 billion tobacco impressions in youth-rated films alone. And those scenes are powerful. Research has shown there is a clear relationship between repeated exposure to on-screen smoking and youth starting to smoke.

To counter the recruitment of youth smokers, the health unit, partners in other health agencies and youth across the province are advocating to have the movie rating system changed so that tobacco imagery is prohibited in youth-rated movies. An email campaign targeting the Ontario Film Review Board is underway and parents and concerned citizens are asked to add their names to the movement on the website www.smokefreemovies.ca

“It’s a reality that youth-rated movies are most popular among movie-goers,” said Gordon, “so rather than having more movies rated 18A, Hollywood can opt not to include tobacco scenes in their movies to maintain the youth rating. That will effectively stop the promotion of tobacco to kids.”

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable disease and death in Ontario. It is responsible for 30 per cent of all cancers and accounts for 13,000 deaths in Ontario each year. Preventing youth from becoming addicted to tobacco will protect and promote their health.

For more information on how to support smoke-free movies for children and teens in Ontario visit www.smokefreemovies.ca or call Your Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

 

-30-


Did you find what you were looking for?
What did you like about this page?
How can we improve this page?
Page
Feedback

If you have any questions or concerns that require a response, please contact Health Connection directly.

Thanks for your feedback.
Failed to submit comment. Please try submitting again or contact us at the Health Unit.
Comment already submitted ...