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News Release: Sacramento Student Volunteers Earn National Recognition for their Research on the Depiction of Smoking in Movies

Local Student Research Drives the Recent Analysis and Recommendation by 17 Major Public Health Groups to Apply an R-rating to Movies with Tobacco Imagery

For Release: August 30, 2017

This week, a coalition of 17 of the nation’s most influential health and medical groups sent a letter to film industry leaders demanding that they give an R-rating to all films that have depictions of smoking or tobacco. These groups include: the American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Academy of Family Physicians; the American Medical Association; the American Cancer Society; and the American Heart Association.

Locally, the non-profit organization Breathe California Sacramento Region has been instrumental in this effort because of their ongoing research on the amount, portrayal, and context of tobacco use in new movies. For over 20 years, Breathe California has organized this research and trained Sacramento area student volunteers how to collect data on tobacco in movies, under a program called “Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!”. The students’ years of research is used by many public health and medical organizations, including: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the University of California at San Francisco; and the US Surgeon General.

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Leading Health Groups Demand Film Industry Give R Rating to Movies that depict smoking

CDC estimates proposed R-rating would avert 1 million tobacco deaths among today’s children

For Release: August 29, 2017

A coalition of the nation’s most influential health organizations -- responding to a July 7 report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- have demanded that movie producers, distributors and exhibitors apply an R rating to all films that include depictions of smoking or tobacco.

Seventeen public health and medical groups signed a letter to film industry leaders in response to the CDC report, which showed that progress in reducing tobacco imagery in PG-13 movies stalled after 2010. The letter demands that the film industry meet a June 1, 2018, deadline to end its practice of using tobacco depictions in youth-rated movies that research has shown has a direct impact on children who go on to smoke.

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17 public health and medical groups demand r-rating for films depicting tobacco use

For Release: August 25, 2017

Our organizations mave long been concerned about the exposure of young audiences to on-screen tobacco depictions (including but not limited to cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products and electronic cigarettes) in feature films. Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing 480,000 Americans annually.

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The MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration must apply an R-rating to any motion picture with tobacco imagery submitted for classification after June 1, 2018.

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