In NYC, tobacco use remains the leading cause of premature and preventable death and disease, contributing to 12,000 deaths annually. The tobacco industry strategically targets replacement smokers by spending millions on marketing and advertising to glamorize smoking. NYC Smoke-Free is dedicated to driving policies that reduce smoking imagery in movies and strengthen youth rating regulations.
The current trend is to include tobacco imagery in movies, TV, and other media to promote tobacco use and glamorize addiction. Tobacco control organizations have recognized this and advocated for the elimination of tobacco from movies, TV, and other media images that may be seen by children. The key to preventing tobacco-related deaths among youth is to make movies intended for children entirely smoke-free. Despite being aware of the potential public health risk of exposing young impressionable kids to tobacco, big names in Hollywood continue to include smoking imagery in movies.
The youth of NYC Smoke-Free’s Reality Check program advocate for themselves and their fellow youth to raise awareness about smoking in movies. The goal for Smoke-Free Movies is to eliminate smoking imagery in movies for children and reserve such images for R-rated movies. Doing so limits youth exposure to smoking imagery and reduces US youth smoking rates by 18%, preventing one million tobacco-related deaths among today’s children.