Movie smoking may mean "R" rating

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 28, 2007

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All smoking depicted in films will now be considered -- along with sex and violence -- when deciding on an appropriate rating, the Motion Picture Assn. of America announced May 10. The move represents a step toward a change that was long-sought by smoking cessation advocates including the AMA Alliance, a nonprofit advocacy network of more than 25,000 spouses of physicians.

Studies cited by the Alliance indicate that viewing tobacco use in movies persuades at least half of new, young smokers to try it for themselves. Several advocacy groups, including the AMA, launched Screen Out! last year, a campaign to eliminate smoking from youth-rated films.

The MPAA policy change stopped short of applying a mandatory "R" rating to films that include smoking, a change sought by the advocacy groups, but the changed policy could mean a more restrictive rating for films that glamorize smoking or include pervasive smoking when there is no historic reason for doing so.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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