Lung Cancer Alliance Says Stop Splitting Hairs: Give Movies With Smoking Scenes An R Rating
Today, Lung Cancer
Alliance (LCA) President Laurie Fenton Ambrose called this week's decision
by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to "consider" smoking
as a factor when rating movies, "not good enough."
"It sounds reasonable -- a middle of the road compromise -- and that is
exactly the problem. There is no middle of the road on this issue: either
the MPAA really wants to help discourage our children from smoking that
first cigarette or it doesn't."
Last week the MPAA said it would add smoking to the list of criteria,
currently including sex, violence and drugs, used when rating movies as G,
PG, PG-13, R or NC-17.
Most recent studies indicate that after years of decline, teen smoking
is again on the upsurge.
More than 80 percent of smokers started smoking in their teens, Ambrose
pointed out. "There is enough pressure on our young people as it is without
glorifying smoking in movies and on television as a cool or tough guy
symbol, weight control drug or pacifier."
"We are not talking about adult-rated movies, but movies for those
under the age of 17. Movies with smoking should get an automatic R rating,"
"I wish MPPA would talk to some of our stakeholders. It is ironic that
so much debate is given to how to handle smoking in films and so little
thought to how to actually help smokers and former smokers in real life,"
The Lung Cancer Alliance (