In NYC, tobacco use remains the leading cause of premature and preventable death and disease contributing to 12,000 deaths yearly. The tobacco industry strategically targets replacement smokers by spending millions on marketing and advertising to glamorize smoking. NYC Smoke-Free, is dedicated to drive policies that cut smoking imagery in movies and strengthen youth rating regulations.
The current trend is to put tobacco imagery into movies, TV, and other media to promote tobacco use and glamorize addiction. Tobacco control organizations have recognized this, and have been advocating 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 targeted for kid viewership entirely smoke-free. The big names in Hollywood are very aware of the potential public health risk that lies in exposing young impressionable kids to tobacco, and yet this is an ongoing problem.
The youth of NYC Smoke-Free’s Reality Check advocate for themselves and their fellow youth to bring awareness to smoking in movies. The goal for Smoke-Free Movies is to eliminate smoking imagery in movies for children, and instead reserve these types of images for R-rated movies. Doing so, limits youth exposure to smoking imagery, therefore reducing US youth smoking rates by 18% and prevent one million tobacco deaths among today’s children.