Monday, July 16, 2012

Movies with Smoking Scenes Should Have R- rating

Brad Pitt’s personage in Snatch, Mickey O'Neil, possesses all traits of classic Hollywood film. He is fully confident and attacks as a real professional, and as Al Pacino in Scarface, he smokes. It is already proved that children imitate media. The Surgeon General declared that smoking really makes teens smoke. It is prohibited to light up in TV commercials, so why can we smoke in movies?

Actions to prohibit smoking in movies have started several years ago; however no formal policy is currently in place. James Sargent, representative of the Cancer Control Research Program at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, analyzed the consequences of exposing teenagers to any movie showing smoking scenes. The results demonstrated that after watching such films, children were more likely to pick the habit. There was an evident link between the film industry’s use of smoking scenes in films and the increasing number of youngsters trying as well as regularly smoking. And after another study, Mr. Sargent and his team found all answers – the movie rating.

Film smoking exposure (FSE) was evaluated basing on the monitoring of 530 block busters. Each movie was divided according to the respective ratings fixed by the Motion Picture Association of America as: G/PG, PG-13, and R respectively. Despite the fact that median FSE was higher for PG-13 movies in comparison to that of R-rated films, their relation to smoking was similar. All these results provided scientists with an amazing conclusion – it was the smoking itself that prompted teenagers to smoke, and not the vulgar behavior often associated with adult movies. Thus, Mr. Sargent and his colleagues concluded that allowing R rating for any movie depicting smoking “could significantly decrease adolescent smoking.” He adds that it might even guarantee a 16% drop. So, Mr. Sargent calls on the film industry to undertake similar actions as they did in considering scenes of violence and sex.

A new R rating could decrease smoking among youngsters, but wouldn’t it just delay the eventual affirmation of tobacco use? Such a rating might prevent some things, but it is unable to prevent the inevitable. Mr. Sargent agreed with the above statement; however he added that older teens of 17 years old and higher are more likely to make right choices, than children at 12 or 14, as they have a higher maturity level.