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Smoking gets rated

05.11.2007
It's not a full-on smoking ban for movies, but it's a start. Alongside ‘strong language’, ‘nudity’ ‘violence’ and ‘drug use’, you can now add ‘pervasive smoking’ as a reason you won’t be able to bring your 10-year-old nephew to see a really cool flick. Cigarette smoking will now affect movie ratings, according to this article in Variety. The MPAA announced yesterday that “all smoking will be considered, and depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of a historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating."

I’m not sure how I feel about this. ‘Foolish’ might be the proper word to describe it, since I started smoking after seeing how great Johnny Depp looked with a smoke in his mouth in BLOW. Hmm, maybe the MPAA is on to something here, a mission to save people from trying to emulate their idol as I so imprudently did many moons ago, and hence saving their lives.

This isn’t the first we’ve heard of this. Many anti-smoking organizations have been lobbying against smoking in movies for years, saying that films are a key contributor to teens smoking (that and because all their friends are doing it). The MPAA says that three main questions will be considered when rating a film based on its depiction of smoking, and these are 1) Is the smoking pervasive? 2) Does the film glamorize smoking? 3) Is there an historic or other mitigating context? This means that someone like the character of Edward R. Murrow in GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK smoking all the time will not affect the film’s rating, because it was historically accurate in an era when most people smoked. In a related story, breasts are now illegal.

Extra Tidbit: Hey kids, listen up! Smoking is bad for your health! It can kill you! Don't do it, even if all your favourite movie stars do (and look cool while doing it)!
Source: Variety

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