New York Teens Launch Statewide Project To Speak Out Against Tobacco's Portrayal In Hollywood
ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York State's anti-tobacco youth empowerment movement, Reality Check announced the launch of their statewide project to combat tobacco use in Hollywood films today. The project, "Tobacco & Hollywood: Headed Tow
Findings released last week from a US Public Interest Research Group report confirm that tobacco use in popular youth-oriented films between 1997 and 1999 rose 50 percent despite a ban on tobacco product placement in the Master Settlement Agreement signed in 1998. Two out of three tobacco scenes in movies released from April 2000 to March 2001 were in youth-oriented G, PG and PG-13 films. Moreover, teens who watch their favorite celebrities smoke are three times more likely to pick up a cigarette, proving that Hollywood is still an outlet for promoting cigarettes to America's youth.
"Hollywood has glamorized the use of tobacco in films long enough," says Reality Check youth Jessica Harvey from Dutchess County. "Together, we hope to get Hollywood to see the light and drop tobacco use in films."
Reality Check teens will be working on a variety of different projects for "Tobacco & Hollywood: Headed Toward a Breakup," designed to raise awareness and encourage Hollywood executives to eliminate the instances of smoking in films. The projects include:
A letter writing campaign from the youth of New York to members of the Motion Pictures Association of America, Director's Guild and Hollywood celebrities.
Placement of informative slides and advertisements before movies in local NY movie theaters.
A grassroots-style marketing project in movie rental outlets alerting people to the issue.
Creation of youth-oriented editorial columns in local and school newspapers.
An internet-based letter writing campaign.
A final press conference designed to celebrate their efforts and alert the community about everything they did and what they learned will be held at the completion of the project.
In addition, Reality Check teens working on this project were excited to learn that the United Nations' World Health Organization (WHO), American Medical Association (AMA) and other public health leaders held a news conference today in Hollywood to condemn the on-screen use of tobacco and the entertainment industry's supporting role in fostering a worldwide epidemic. Attending the press conference was renowned tobacco activist and author of "The Cigarette Papers," Stan Glantz. Glantz, who also founded Smoke Free Movies, was involved in the development of the Reality Check statewide project and encouraged youth to speak out against the glamorization of tobacco in movies. This announcement will ultimately strengthen Reality Check's goal to make an impact on Hollywood by helping lead the nation in this cause.