Smoke Free Movies Week of Action

Hollywood Stars Don’t Smoke While Walking Oscar’s Red Carpet: Why Do They Smoke On Screen?

The Academy Awards (Oscars) will be telecast just a few days from now. The week of glitter and glam leading up to the show-stopping Sunday is primetime to address smoking in movies and its effects on our kids. That’s why The Mercy Community has joined Trinity Health’s Advocacy, Shareholder Advocacy and Community Health and Wellbeing teams to launch  Smoke Free Movies Week of Action, Feb. 19 – 26.

Up for 2017 Academy Awards this year, only three films rated for children’s audience do not include depictions of smoking: Arrival, Hidden Figures and Passengers.

During this special week of education and awareness, Ministry colleagues and advocates will be asked to send e-mails directly to movie company top executives urging them to change their practices when depicting smoking in movies, especially smoking in movies that can be seen by kids!

Did you know that for decades, the tobacco industry has used movies to push smoking at kids? Tobacco cross-promotion and product placement have been documented in hundreds of mainstream movies, including some currently being considered for 2017 Academy Awards, such as Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them and La La Land. As a matter of fact, seven of the ten youth-rated PG-13 films (pictured above) at this year’s Oscars depict smoking. For the health of our nation’s youth, you are invited to Take Action and urge Hollywood executives to remove smoking from youth-rated films.

This issue has been on Trinity Health’s radar for more than 10 years. Trinity Health’s shareholder advocacy, along with the efforts by the public health community, has resulted in all major studios adopting some policies on tobacco depictions. However, inconsistent implementation of these policies calls for an industry-wide standard that would ultimately eliminate the glamorization of tobacco in all youth-rated films.

Across Trinity Health and The Mercy Community, it is all too clear the devastating effect smoking has on our residents and their families who suffer from tobacco-induced diseases. As health care workers and consumers, we have an opportunity to positively impact how movies are rated and to ensure movies that depict tobacco receive an “R” rating.

In the U.S. alone, 6.4 million of today’s children will be recruited to smoke by exposure to on-screen smoking. Two million of them will later die from tobacco-induced diseases, including 700,000 deaths from cancer, 750,000 from cardiovascular disease and 530,000 from respiratory diseases. Half the physical harm, at an eventual medical cost of more than $60 billion, comes from youth-rated films.

This week, e-mail Hollywood executives to remove smoking from youth-rated films. You can also tweet the movie companies responsible for the majority of the major motion pictures, making it clear that you’re telling #Oscar & friends to #RateSmokingR.

If you have additional questions regarding this Oscar week advocacy opportunity, please review our FAQ on Smoke Free Movies. Let your voice be heard, Take Action today!

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