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Letters to the Editor | Smoke Free St. Joe

Letters to the Editor

EXAMPLE “A”

In 1964, the US Surgeon General concluded that smoking causes lung cancer. Just six years later, Congress banned tobacco commercials from radio and TV. In 2012, the US Surgeon General concluded that smoking in movies causes kids to smoke. But five years later, we’re no closer to getting smoking out of the movies that kids see most.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that G, PG and PG-13 movies with smoking will recruit three million new young smokers in this generation, a million of whom will die from tobacco-caused diseases.

The answer? A voluntary “R” rating for future movies with smoking would keep smoking out of G, PG and PG-13 movies —and cut teen smoking rates by nearly 20 percent. That small step would save a million lives.

Tobacco companies’ own files show that they have exploited movies to sell smoking for nearly a century. Since 2010, more than 40 percent of PG-13 movies have still featured smoking? Why?

Smoking bought its way on screen. It’s time for Hollywood to get the smoking out.

 

EXAMPLE “B”

In today’s complicated world, is there any problem that’s actually easy to solve? What if we could prevent a million deaths from cancer and other diseases in this generation, without costing taxpayers a dime? The answer is hiding in plain sight: we need to get smoking out of the movies that kids see most.

For nearly a century, tobacco companies have exploited movies to sell smoking. The Hollywood studios have known since 2003 that smoking on screen is physically hazardous to children and teens. The CDC reports that on-screen smoking will recruit six million new young smokers in this generation, two million of whom will die eventually die from diseases caused by smoking. Yet, since 2010, more than 40 percent of PG-13 movies have still featured smoking.

The solution belongs to the studios themselves. It’s called the R-rating. Awarding future movies with smoking an “R” rating would keep smoking out of the movies that kids see most, cutting kids’ exposure to on-screen smoking in half and saving a million lives.

Health organizations across America agree that smoking in movies kills in real life. Add your voice to theirs. Let’s make sure that movies rated for kids are actually safe for kids to watch.