Smoking is not Hollywood’s fault (USA Vanguard)

Smoking is Not Hollywood’s Fault-USA Vanguard
This article was orginally published on February 27,2007

The Academy Awards have been given out to the best performers, writers, directors and films of the year. Some of these films probably had scenes where a character just happened to light up a cigarette. Now the American Medical Association Alliance wants the movie studios to reconsider the use of smoking scenes in movies. The American Medical Association Alliance along with endorsement from the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association is requesting that major movie studios rate any movie that shows a character smoking a cigarette “R.” The request is being made due to the increase of numbers in teen smoking.

According to the Smokefree Movies Action Network, on-screen smoking is considered to be one of the biggest threats and contributors to teen smoking. It is also stated in the study that Time-Warner, Disney and Sony account for 60 percent of all U.S. movies with smoking, and they include a list of movies that had scenes where characters smoked, many of them being rated PG-13.

I can understand the motive of these groups to try to curb teen smoking by any means, but seriously, the blame on teen smoking cannot be solely placed on movie studios. The list that was provided by the Smokefree Movies Action Network included films such as “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” and “Hotel Rwanda.” Personally if I were a mother, I would not allow my kids to have seen “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” due to the content of the movie and not because a character just happen to light one up.

Another reason why placing an “R” rating on any movie that has a smoking scene seems ridiculous is because who after going to the movies goes “Wow, those people in that movie looked so cool smoking. I’m going to try it.” Also, it is not like we’re in the 1950s where people did not know the dangers and consequences to smoking. With all the information that is available to a person instantly, if a teenager is willing to smoke knowing what will happen to them doing this for a long period of time then that is their little red wagon to pull on. I’ve always been told that proper training for children starts at home, and that holds true for smoking. If the parents are consistent and not hypocritical in telling kids not to smoke and then do it themselves then the kids will not smoke. Do not place blame on the movies.

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