08 September 2006

Anti-smoking spots on DVDs

Hoping to reduce teen smoking, attorneys general from more than 35 US states offered movie studios free use of three public service announcements to include on DVDs and videos. They urge movie makers to do the right thing and include these powerful and persuasive anti-smoking ads on all DVDs and videos that depict tobacco use. Studios referred calls to the Motion Picture Association of America.

MPAA spokeswoman Kori Bernards said it was too early to comment on whether studios would accept the offer to use the PSAs. We will formally respond to them in a timely manner and look forward to future discussions with them," Bernards said. She added that the entertainment industry recognizes smoking is a serious health problem, and the MPAA is working with the Harvard School of Public Health on anti-smoking initiatives. Bernards declined to elaborate.

The attorneys general blame films that show smoking for influencing hundreds of thousands of U.S. adolescents to begin lighting up every year. 38 of every 100 youths who tried smoking did so because of their exposure to smoking in movies. The attorneys general said 73 percent of all youth-rated movies show tobacco use.

"This may not be an offer they can't refuse, but it should be an offer studio executives will be happy to accept," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said of the PSAs being offered. The three public service announcements are entitled "Body Bags," "1200" and "Shards O Glass." The anti-smoking messages were created by the American Legacy Foundation, which runs national advertisements designed to prevent teens from smoking.

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