AUGUST 19, 2010: MARKEY, PITTS SAY MORE NEEDED TO PROTECT CHILDREN FROM SMOKING IN MOVIES
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Edward J. Markey (D-Mass) and Representative Joseph Pitts (R-PA), who both serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee, today sent a letter to the Motion Picture Association of America encouraging the movie industry to adopt stronger measures to reduce youth exposure to images of smoking in movies. The letter proposes four strategies recommended by the
The release of the letter, co-authored by Rep. Markey and Rep. Pitts, coincides with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) issuing a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) investigating trends in the prevalence of tobacco images in movies and youth exposure to onscreen smoking.
While progress has been made to reduce onscreen images of smoking in movies, too many films targeting youth continue to include depictions of smoking. Although approximately 20% of U.S. high school students smoke, 54% of PG-13 films in 2009 contained tobacco images,” said Rep. Markey. “Today’s CDC report reaffirms that youth are overexposed to images of smoking in movies and this exposure can significantly increase a child’s decision to start smoking. It’s time for the movie industry to accept its own version of a nicotine patch by embracing a policy that will help them kick the habit of including images of smoking in movies targeting youth. Such a commitment would be a powerful investment in the long term public health of our youth and our nation.”
Rep Pitts said: “The report today reiterates what we have known about smoking for many years now—depictions of smoking in movies influence kids. Another study from
A copy of the letter can be found here: