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Stricter Ratings for Movies with Smoking

This week the Motion Picture Association of America announced that smoking in a film will be a factor in future movie ratings, according to Variety.

The MPAA is the organization responsible for setting film ratings and including the descriptions before a film that tell audiences why a film received a certain rating. Under this new guideline, the description could also include "pervasive smoking."

In a statement, the MPAA said, "In the past, illegal teen smoking has been a factor in the rating of films, alongside other parental concerns such as sex, violence and adult language. Now, all smoking will be considered, and depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of a historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating."

Under pressure from child advocacy groups, health organizations and even the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the MPAA turned to the Harvard School of Public Health for guidance. In February, Harvard recommended that studios "take substantive and effective action to eliminate the depiction of smoking from films accessible to children and youths."

MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman said that three questions will be posed by the board when considering smoking in a film: Is the smoking pervasive? Does the film glamorize smoking? And, is there an historic or other mitigating context?

The question remains whether this is truly "substantive and effective action," or if it is just a token to temporarily satisfy opponents.

While the move has received support from both the Directors Guild and Screen Actors Guild of America, some critics say that the move is not enough and that films with smoking should receive an automatic "R" rating. However, most groups are pleased that the MPAA is at least doing something to address the issue.


Posted by Shannon on May 12, 2007 12:04 PM
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hahahahah!! This is absolutely pathetic. What will they 'rate' next in movies? I have some suggestions:

A) drinking soda with 'high-fructose' corn syrup
B) buying/wearing clothes made in sweatshops
C) driving gas-guzzlers (suv's, muscle cars, etc)
D) using cell-phones while driving

what kind of society are we developing here?
In the 1993 movie 'Demolition Man' there are cameras and microphones everywhere. You get issued citations for smoking, kissing, cursing, etc in public.

Also, people are smarter than this, and MOST smokers understand that their lifestyle determines their death-style. People have the choice to goto non-smoking establishments, and in their own house they can decide if it is smoke-free.

I'm not particularly impassioned about the MPAA's ratings. Just the freedom and liberty aspect. You really should be to!

-- Posted by: D the bassist with Noctaluca at May 12, 2007 2:55 PM

I think it's time for a rating of WC for Worthless Crap. If we really want to protect our children, this would be a "substantive and effective" means of doing so.

"What's that? It was directed by Uwe Boll? All right, slap a WC on that mother and let's roll it out."

-- Posted by: Pete at May 14, 2007 4:56 PM

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