Over 180 Reality Check Youth Leaders, and tobacco control staff from across New York state, joined with Reality Check of Monroe County at Colgate University for a selfie chain, to support giving smoking in movies an “R” rating.
Nine youth from the Rochester area participated in the event. The youth are part of the Community Place of Greater Rochester, and Pittsford Sutherland School.
“Events like this are crucial for spreading knowledge and awareness about the impact of smoking in youth movies,” Joseph Potter, Reality Check Coordinator for Monroe County stated. “Adults often don’t realize the amount of smoking scenes in kids’ movies. Events like the youth summit, and activities like the selfie chain, really help to raise awareness about this issue.”
Just this year, program officials said Disney increased the effectiveness of its policy by including most of the films Disney works on in its smoke-free movies policy.
However, officials said while Disney has been helping keep tobacco marketing off screen, other studios, like Time Warner, which recently advised its shareholders to vote “no” on a similar proposal, may still need some convincing.
And, while it is important to communicate with major movie studio parent companies to ask them to create their own policies, officials said even more effective would be an industry-wide policy giving smoking an “R” rating.
According to Reality Check, we’re only halfway through 2015, and already seven out of 10 kid-rated movies with smoking have come from independent film companies, making a push for an industry standard, set by the Motion Picture Association of America, imperative.
Interested individuals may share #RateSmokingR on social media, and visit http://www.realitycheckofny.com/western to learn more about Monroe County’s Reality Check program.