Teen Group Trying to Make Smoking R-Rated in Films

23 Feb


I read this on CBC’s website today:

Youth representatives from health units throughout the region met in London on the weekend to discuss their concerns about smoking in movies.

They will be urging the Ontario Film Review Board to consider each film’s depiction of tobacco use when issuing its classified movie ratings.

Donna Kosmack, a youth development specialist with the Middlesex-London Health Unit, said smoking among teens remains a major concern.

And the more that young people see actors smoking cigarettes, the more they think it’s a normal thing to do, she said.

One American health group says The Curious Case of Benjamin Button has more than 100 incidents of smoking, far more than necessary, even for a movie set in a time when more people smoked.

The teens also sent a request to the film board asking for public service announcements about the dangers of smoking to run before movies that show tobacco use.

The Ontario Film Review Board has agreed to meet with the youth representatives to discuss their concerns, she said.

New York state health officials have also urged stricter ratings on films with smoking. Last summer Disney agreed to eliminate smoking from its family-oriented movies.

So where do I begin? First off, let’s look at the “objective reporting” of CBC’s Gary Ennett. The “One American health group,” is not sourced, and it’s obvious he sides with the kids, using a comment like “far more than necessary” when referring to the amount of smoking in Benjamin Button. I’m just curious though, what group actually counted the amount of smoking going on in this movie? The National Institute of Douche Bags Who Have Nothing Better to Do Than Sit Around and Count Cigarettes in Movies? You may have heard of their acronym, SELF-RIGHTEOUS.

Seriously. Who are the kids that form a group like this? Actually, I know them. They are the kids at school who get the crap kicked out of them by the kids who smoke. Now they have to make their annoying little existence known to the rest of the world by growing up to make “you can’t do that” groups. These are the same people that banned tag from elementary school, or pulled the teeter totter and the tire swing from the playground. Too many kids were getting hurt. Oh no. Come on. You know who was getting hurt? The stupid kid that would have gotten hurt any number of ways anyway, it just happened to be on the god damned tire swing. So get rid of the kid instead of my fun. Now all kids can really do is run around in a circle. Kids don’t even know what red ass is anymore. Dodge ball is an imaginary sport from a movie. They don’t even play flag football. Too dangerous. Give me a break. Take a chance. Get hurt. It’s a part of life.

Now back to this smoking thing. We all know that smoking is pretty much bad for smokers and people around smokers, but you know what? Everyone is going to die from something and it’s not going to be from old age. When was the last time you heard of someone dying from “natural causes”. Seriously think about it for a moment. It doesn’t happen anymore. We’re born with cancer. We die from cancer. If not, it’s a heart attack, stroke, car accident, terrorism, murder, spontaneous combustion. You get the point. If people are going to smoke, let them smoke. Putting an ad in front of a movie giving the same warning as on a pack of cigarettes is just going to piss people off and make them not want to go to the movies. Giving a movie with cigarettes an R-Rating is going to make a creatively bankrupt Hollywood even worse off. I guess we’ll never get that Casablanca remake we’ve been waiting for. Unless Bogart chews nicorette now. I can understand a MADD ad in front of a movie, but telling me I’m going to die from smoking because James Dean is lighting up before he starts a motorcycle race is OVER THE LINE. Stop shoving your Utopian fantasy crap down my throat. It’s never going to happen. People will always do what they want. Stupid people listen to advertising, and stupid people die. It’s called Darwinism. We can’t save everyone.

And on that note, I’m going to go have a smoke.

8 Responses to “Teen Group Trying to Make Smoking R-Rated in Films”

  1. Alexander James February 23, 2009 at 7:47 PM #

    Making a movie R-rated because of cigarette smoking is more than just stupid — it’s a slippery slope.

    First of all, it’s the grassroots of moral puritanism: yesterday it was replacing the shotguns in “E.T.” with walkie-talkies (did a great job reducing gun crime!), today it’s tagging a movie with an 18+ restriction because somebody lights up (Lord knows if you pretend the problem doesn’t exist, it’ll vanish on its own; see “E.T.”) and tomorrow it’s what? Branding “High School Musical” with the “sexually suggestive scenes” moniker because of all the homosexual undertones associated with an art school?

    Second of all, it’s patently hypocritical. The average teenager watches what, thousands of murders on TV before they’re 18 — and that’s just fine. But smoking a tobacco product is anathema. Same logic applies to that farce of a Super Bowl half-time show when the world got a real good look at Janet Jackson’s bazoomba. People lost their minds, because this smut was shown right in the midst of their celebrity-culture Gladiatorial bloodfest.

    Oh yeah, one more thing. The responsibility to teach kids about the ills of smoking, drug use, alcoholism, gun violence, sexual molestation, rock music and Mormonism is the responsibility of the PARENTS, not Hollywood.

    It’s all bullshit. People need to get their fucking priorities straight.

  2. jeff51 February 24, 2009 at 6:53 PM #

    Simply put, giving high school kids the ability to curb free speech and freedom of expression is just as foolish as giving the same kids whiskey and car keys.

    Grown adults with big adult brains have been locking horns over what what is best for society since the dawn of tribal times and still haven’t gotten it right. I can’t suggest that these kids voices shouldn’t be heard, they should. However just like all know-it-all brats they should then be scolded for pissing off the adults and sent to their rooms.

    Hey kids, here’s what a live grown man who CHOOSES to smoke thinks;

    If seeing a cigarette in a movie scares you, don’t watch it. If you don’t like smoking, then don’t smoke. If you can’t handle that some of us CHOOSE to smoke, drink or indulge in any of the legal vices that we enjoy, then I suggest you scurry off to Jr Fascist Dictator Camp, bone up on your Klingon or whatever code you geeks speak in and have your own little nerdy Lord of the Flies jamboree.

    Kids, life is hard. Get a helmet.

  3. Elliot October 15, 2009 at 6:00 AM #

    why would u even do this ?

  4. sam October 15, 2009 at 6:01 AM #

    elliot i agree this is a complete let down this man should be shot !

  5. welsh stack October 15, 2009 at 6:02 AM #

    i am going to rape this man and his childern

  6. Shannon T. October 21, 2009 at 11:36 AM #

    Ok, as I read this article, I found myself going back and forth. I am an adult smoker. I am also a parent. My oldest is ten and will soon be on the fence of “is smoking cool, or not cool”. Lets face it: Most people in our generation, (20’s), started smoking because we thought we would be cooler. I know I didn’t start at 14 because of stress. I was influenced. Mostly by friends, but a little bit by actors I thought were cool who lit up. So here is my dilema: Do I want constant reminders that my habit is bad for me everytime I watch a movie? No. Do I want the added help telling my kids that smoking is bad for them? yes. Now I understand that it is my job to raise my kids. Not society’s. I try to make sure my kids watch things that are appropriate for their ages. But I also don’t want my kid to be the one on the outside of the group as they discuss the latest SAW they all saw. So I try to find a middle ground. But who is ever going to say no to a little help making sure your kids get the right message. ANd before anyone leaves the reply about my smoking in front of my kid, I am the uncoolest thing to my children, and if you ask my 10 year old, am in no way someone he wants to be just like.

  7. Jim Fairthorne October 22, 2009 at 12:28 AM #

    It’s all about the company you keep. If you hang out with a lot of people that smoke, you will smoke. That’s typically how it goes. There’s always the oddball case, but nobody just goes into a store and buys their first pack without someone else giving them a smoke first. Advertising, product placements- they play a part in getting people to smoke, but the trust is the majority of smokers smoke because of other smokers. Want to make sure your kid doesn’t smoke? Quit. But before you quit, make sure you cough around the kid a lot. Create the connection that smoking made mommy sick. That’ll stick in his head for a while…at least until college.

  8. Steph April 21, 2010 at 3:30 PM #

    As one of the ‘kids’ who met to discuss smoke free movies, I would like to provide a bit more information about why we feel this is important.
    Smoking is being portrayed in movies as glamorous, sexy and tough. In general, none of the side effects of smoking are seen. Almost half of youth rated movies released in 2009 contained smoking. And it has a huge impact on youth: “Smoking in movies is thought to be the most powerful pro-tobacco influence on teens today, accounting for 52% of adolescents who start smoking, an effect even stronger than cigarette advertising.”
    Tobacco Industries know the facts, they have been secretly paying directors, writers, actors and studios to incorporate smoking into their movies for decades, and it is estimated to lead to 390, 000 new teen smokers every year. This will be the cause of death for 120, 000 of them. It also leads to over 800 million dollars in profit for the tobacco industry.
    We believe that today’s youth should be free to make their own choice about smoking, but it should be an educated one. They should know all the facts, not just see it through the biased eye of Hollywood. And while we may just be a group of teens, there are many adult organizations who support the R rating for movies including smoking. The World Health Organization, American Lung Association, American Heart Foundation, and Harvard School of Public Health, just to name a few.
    There are many more facts and studies, you just need to look for them. I have included the websites where I got my information from below, the journal citations are on the sites:

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