Movie studios urged to stop smoking depiction in youth-rated movies

May 10, 2012

William Sorrell
Assistant Attorney General
(802) 828-3173


Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell co-authored a letter, issued today by the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and signed by 38 state and territorial Attorneys General, urging 10 movie studios to adopt published policies to eliminate tobacco depictions in youth-rated movies. This effort follows the March 8 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, which states that “[t]he evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people.”

“It is time for all motion picture studios to take a leadership role in protecting the health and lives of our children by eliminating depictions of smoking in movies rated G, PG, and PG-13,” said Attorney General Sorrell, who has been a leader in this area. Attorneys General have been concerned about smoking in the movies since at least 1998, when NAAG adopted a resolution calling on the industry to reduce tobacco depictions in feature films. The Master Settlement Agreement, signed the same year, also addressed one aspect of smoking in the movies, prohibiting product placements. However, smoking in the movies has remained a negative impact upon young people.

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  • Alex Barnham

    “Despite the slow steady declines in prevalence in the United States, cigarette smoking still causes HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of PREVENTABLE deaths each year,” said Dr. Corinne Husten, acting director, CDC Office on Smoking and Health. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to prevent and reduce tobacco use. People will have longer, healthier lives, and there will be fewer smoking-related costs.”

    Lost productivity estimate when combined with smoking-related health care costs, which was reported at $75.5 billion in 1998, exceeds $167 billion per year in the United States.

    Just to show how immense the numbers are, ask around for people to remember how many die each every year from cigarette smoking. Do you know? 440,000+ smoking-related deaths occurred ANNUALLY from 1995-2011). Next time you complain about your insurance premiums, think of how to cut the cost.

    440,000 US people died = $75.5 billion (your cost)

    Unless you believe in cannibalizing Americans and paying high insurance premiums, it is YOUR JOB to work to rid our culture of cigarettes. We DO NOT need to manufacture, sell, or promote smoking ANYTHING. We need to breathe CLEAN AIR. Cigarettes are DANGEROUS & ADDICTIVE & REALLY STINK. If you are addicted, grow your own organic tobacco, smoke your tobacco in a water pipe, and do it once a week and you will never smoke any more crappy cigarettes full of cardboard, sawdust, pesticides, herbicides, who-knows-what they put in them. They only put a small amount of tobacco and the rest is filler (junk).

  • Alex Barnham

    By the way, the tobacco industry is lobbying heavily to defund the Center for Disease Control (CDC). They don’t like their investigative reports.

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