Attorney General Press Release Header
May 10, 2012

Attorney General Joins National Effort

To Keep Smoking Out of Movies Targeted At Youth

Attorney General George Jepsen has joined attorneys general in 37 states and U.S. territories in urging movie studio executives to get smoking out of movies aimed at teenagers and young adults because it is a negative influence that encourages them to smoke.

“Advertisers have long understood that people are influenced to buy what they see on television and in movies,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “What we don’t want young people to buy is the idea that smoking is cool and something they should try.”

Jepsen signed on to a letter to 10 movie studio executives encouraging them to adopt published policies to eliminate depictions of smoking and tobacco use in movies aimed at teenagers and young adults.

The letter, issued by the National Association of Attorneys General, was prompted by a March report by the U.S. Surgeon General: Preventing Tobacco Use Among Youth and Young Adults. The report found that youth who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke. Those who get the most exposure to onscreen smoking are about twice as likely to begin smoking as those who get the least exposure.

It also found that while images of smoking in movies have declined over the past decade, in 2010, nearly a third of the top-grossing movies produced for children – those with ratings of G, PG or PG-13 – contained images of smoking.

“According to the Surgeon General, more than 1,200 Americans die from smoking every day. Unfortunately, each of these smoking victims is replaced by two new smokers under the age of 26,” Jepsen said. “This is a serious health trend we need to stop.”

The attorneys general also urged the film company executives to: include anti-tobacco spots on all future DVDs and Blu-ray videos of films that depict smoking; certify in the closing credits of all future motion picture releases with tobacco imagery that no payoffs were made in connection with any tobacco depictions and; keep all future movies free of displays of tobacco brands.


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