National Survey: U.S. Adults Support New R-Rating For Films With Tobacco
According to a new
survey, 81 percent of adults in the United States agree adolescents are
more likely to smoke if they watch actors smoke in movies, and 70 percent
support a new R- rating for any movies with on-screen tobacco imagery,
According to the report, public concern over the issue of tobacco
imagery on screen has grown substantially over the past year:
-- Support for an 'R'-rating for movies with tobacco that fail to portray
its health risks jumped nearly 12 percentage points between 2005 and
-- Two-thirds of adults want movie theaters to show anti-tobacco spots
before any film with tobacco images, up more than five percentage
points from the year before.
-- More than 60 percent of adults want tobacco branding out of all movie
scenes, a rise of nearly seven percentage points from the previous
"This research is our latest effort to bring national attention to the
harmful effects that smoking in movies has on our youth," said AMA Alliance
President Nita Maddox. "As a parent myself, I am equally as concerned as
the parents we surveyed about children's exposure to smoking on screen."
AMA Alliance members have launched a national, grassroots
parent-to-parent campaign to clear tobacco imagery from future movies rated
G, PG, and PG-13 by calling on the Motion Picture Association of American
and movie studios to implement voluntary solutions to reduce youth's
exposure to movie smoking.
The policies and the initiative, Screen Out, have been endorsed by
several national public health organizations including the AMA, AMA
Alliance, American Heart Association and the American Legacy Foundation.
"There is an overwhelming and consistent body of evidence that shows a
clear link between smoking in movies and youth starting to smoke," said
Robert McMillen, associate research professor at Mississippi State
University's Social Science Research Center and lead author of the report.
"This national survey demonstrates substantial public and parental support
for voluntary policy changes by Hollywood to reduce this toll, including
R-rating for almost all future tobacco scenes."
In 2005, one-in-six top-grossing U.S. movies showed or mentioned an
actual tobacco brand. Two out of three U.S. live action movies featured
tobacco in 2006, including 68 percent of PG-13 films.
"Growing U.S. support for smoke free movies will protect young people
not only here, in North America, but wherever U.S. movies dominate the
media culture and wherever the tobacco industry is hunting its next
generation," said Maddox. "When we get smoking out of youth-rated movies in
Hollywood, it will be felt all the way to Kiev, Cape Town, Shanghai, and
The Social Climate Survey of Tobacco Control is an annual poll of
public attitudes toward tobacco policies. The 2006 survey of 1,800 adults
nationwide has a margin of error of +- 2.3 percent. Results for the
on-screen tobacco questions are available at