Nation's Pediatricans Urge Elimination Of Smoking From Movies With Less Than R Rating, USA
Each day, nearly 4,000 children and adolescents smoke their first cigarette. One thousand of them become addicted smokers, facing a lifetime of medical conditions from which more than 400,000 die each year. A significant body of research indicates that
Each day, nearly 4,000 children and adolescents smoke their first cigarette. One thousand of them become addicted smokers, facing a lifetime of medical conditions from which more than 400,000 die each year. A significant body of research indicates that exposure to movie imagery of tobacco smoking by attractive movie stars is among the strongest factors that leads nonsmoking adolescents to try this highly addictive behavior.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is concerned that the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) recent statement that it will 'consider smoking as a factor' in ratings will not effectively prevent children from being exposed to on-screen smoking.
Because of the potent effect of motion pictures in persuading children and teens to smoke, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), along with the other leading organizations of health professionals in the United States, 32 state Attorneys General, and the Harvard School of Public Health calls on the MPAA and movie studios to act immediately to eliminate depiction of tobacco smoking from films accessible to children and youth.
The AAP recommends the following four steps to help reduce smoking initiation among children and youth:
1. Require an R rating for all new films portraying smoking (unless they show smoking by a real historical figure who actually smoked).
2. Convey an effective antismoking message before all films portraying smoking.
3. Certify that no payments were made for tobacco product placements in the film
4. Eliminate brand identifications.
"The AAP is pleased there is increasing recognition of the need to protect children and teens from becoming addicted to the largest avoidable cause of death in the United States," said AAP President Jay E. Berkelhamer, MD, FAAP.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 60,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well being of infants, children, adolescents and young children.