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Disney bans smoking from all Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Pixar movies

In news first revealed a couple of weeks ago, Disney CEO Bob Iger has stated that the ban on the depiction of tobacco used on screen will extend from Disney films to include Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Marvel properties as well. Despite no Disney movie showing smoking over the last fifteen months, 43% of Marvel films showed smoking on screen.

Studies have shown a direct link between depictions of smoking and tobacco use in minors. This ban will impact films regardless of MPAA rating with only one exception.

“Except when we are depicting a historical figure who may have smoked at the time” Iger specified. “For instance, we’ve been doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker, and we would consider that acceptable. But in terms of any new characters that are created for any of those films, under any of those labels, we will absolutely prohibit smoking in any of those films."

Comic book characters such as Wolverine and Tony Stark have been shown smoking and drinking for years. There is even a long standing belief that smoking represents villainous behavior and that good guys don't actually do it. While I am sure there are instances where smoking can be replaced by something else, don't hold your breath to see Jabba sucking back on his hookah or an Indiana Jones villain puffing on a cigar.

There really isn't any reason or rationale for smoking to be featured in film, especially with all of the health evidence out there. Whether this has any creative impact on the studio's most profitable offshoots will remain to be seen.

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