International Week of Action 2018!
Written by, Edric Robinson, Brooklyn Reality Check Coordinator
Gold. Glitz. Glamour. Hollywood’s stars will hit the red carpet this Sunday to celebrate the magic of filmmaking at the Oscars and we at home celebrate right along with them. But for tobacco-free advocates, it’s also a time to raise awareness about the often ignored issue of smoking in movies and media and its negative impacts on young people. We call it, the International Week of Action for Smoke-Free Movies. We highlight the week leading up to the Oscars to raise awareness about the unnecessary tobacco imagery in movies.
Throughout our boroughs, NYC Smoke-Free actively works with teens that want to take a stand against the tobacco industry's tactics. Media is very influential on the development of adolescents, and movies are one of the few remaining places that big tobacco can still showcase and promote their deadly product.
Research has concluded that there is a direct relationship between exposure to smoking in movies and the number of young people who start smoking. In other words, the more kids and teens see smoking in movies, the more likely they are to start. Smoking in movies recruits 187,000 new teen smokers every year. The CDC reports a 21% increase in tobacco imagery in movies between 2015 and 2016. They are also more likely to progress to regular smoking, which makes it harder to quit.
In Brooklyn, teens have worked with the Borough President Eric Adams’ outdoor movie series in Prospect Park to raise awareness among parents and caregivers about the issue of smoking in movies. In Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens, teens are joining together hosting ‘Movie Stomp’ events at local theaters. These activities are a part of a national effort to empower young people to stand up, and stomp out about the tobacco industry’s deceptive marketing.
Our message is simple; get smoking out of youth-rated movies and media. Our teams also work in the boroughs with local media outlets and organizations to establish smoke-free policies. We know the Tobacco Industry will go to any length to make smoking look cool and manipulate young people into becoming addicted to their products. Help us remove this source of influence on young people by joining our efforts. For more information about the harmful effects of tobacco marketing in movies, visit Reality Check of NY, or to get involved in a smoke-free movie event in your borough, contact one of our Reality Check Coordinators today!
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