Monday, June 1, 2009

Anti-smoking advocates push for R rating to any movie showing smoking

The rate of smoking scenes in the movies permitted to watch by the minors has not dropped although Hollywood executives promised two years ago to avoid showing smoking scenes in the films.

According to the research completed by the American Medical Alliance scientists, showing famous actors smoking encourages adolescents to try cigarettes or other the tobacco products. Therefore the Alliance urged the Motion Picture Association to give an R rating to any film containing smoking scenes.

Dr. Thomas Jefferson from California Public Health Department cited the results of a study that found out that almost a half of all underage smokers throughout the United States might be linked to seeing smoking in movies.

"Overall, 55 percent of the top films containing smoking scenes showed within the last two years were permitted to teen audience since they have been given a G, PG or PG-13 rating," he declared.

Mathew Dow, the vice chairman of the America Motion Picture Association committee that is responsible for film ratings, cited their own numbers, basing on all the 900 movies that have been rated every year, not only the top films from Davenport's statistics.

According to the Association chairman, they have not given G ratings to any film, containing at least one smoking scene after it made a pledge two years ago.

In general, more than a half of all the films rated during the last three years contained smoking scenes, however 70 percent of such movies were rated as R movies, Dow stated. 21 percent of the films with smoking were given PG-13 rating and the rest 9 percent were given PG, he added.

In conformity with the rating system, G-rated filmed is permitted for viewing for all audiences without age restrictions, whereas a PG rating tells parents that such movie can contain some scenes which are unacceptable to see for their children. PG-13, for instance, signals that the movie contains inappropriate scenes for adolescents under 13.

No minor under 17 should be permitted to watch an R-rated film alone without a parent or tutor.

Sandi Frost, chairwoman of American Medical Alliance cited "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," as the most recent and great example of a film with free smoking advertisement. The box-office success blockbuster was given a PG-13 rating since the movie contains numerous scenes of violence.

"Hundreds of thousands of teenagers have seen the principal character in the film with a cigar between his teeth," Frost claimed. "I'm more than confident that no one would have liked that film any less in case he was not dragging."