WHO: Movies With Smoking Scenes Should Be Rated 'R'

By Susan Jones | February 1, 2016 | 11:56 AM EST

A new report from the World Health Organization says tobacco appeared in 44% of all films in Hollywood in 2014. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - The World Health Organization is calling on governments to assign “R” ratings to movies that portray tobacco use.
 
"Movies showing tobacco use have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking," said the latest edition of WHO's "Smoke-Free Movies Report," first issued in 2009.

“With ever-tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising, film remains one of the last channels exposing millions of adolescents to smoking imagery without restrictions,” said Dr. Douglas Bettcher, WHO Director of the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases.
 
WHO's report recommends the following:

-- Require “Adult” age classification ratings for films with tobacco imagery to reduce overall exposure of youth to tobacco imagery in films;

-- Certify in movie credits that film producers receive nothing of value from anyone in exchange for using or displaying tobacco products in a film;

-- End display of tobacco brands in films;

-- Require strong anti-smoking advertisements to be shown before films containing tobacco imagery in all distribution channels (cinemas, televisions, online, etc).
 
--Make media production companies that promote smoking ineligible for public subsidies.

The WHO report doesn't address sex and drugs in movies. That's because the 180 Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control are obliged by international law to focus on tobacco -- banning advertising, promotion and sponsorship.”

The report says tobacco appeared in 44% of all films in Hollywood in 2014.

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