Coalition Says Movies Try To Sell You Tasty, Cool Cigarettes

Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke reports the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the California Youth Advocacy Network and the American Medical Association Alliance have teamed to launch an ad campaign to warn against Hollywood’s tendency to shill for the tobacco industry.

It’s long been noted that movies tend to go over-the-top by including cigarette smoking scenes, which many industry observers believe are evidence of a wink-and-nod agreement between big studios and tobacco companies, despite the fact that all suspected parties deny there’s a connection. Philip Morris USA even has a policy that forbids studios from using their logos and products in films.

The anti-smoking in movies coalition is attempting to call studios out, Finke writes:

Mobile billboards will drive around Los Angeles, and stop by the major studios, today and tomorrow showing a young girl asking, “Which movie studios will cause me to smoke this summer?” Using Facebook and Twitter, a scorecard will regularly tally the number of tobacco impressions in this summer’s youth-rated blockbusters. A letter-writing and petition drive across the country will commence during the blockbuster season. And, at the end of September, billboard will be strategically placed near the studio with the worst summer record for encouraging smoking in its summer films.

“The blockbuster season’s first example of smoking in a youth-rated film is 20th Century Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It has numerous scenes of the main star, actor Hugh Jackman, with a cigar. Another PG-13 blockbuster, Angels & Demons by Sony Pictures, includes tobacco imagery,” the campaign said (Wednesday).

At least Angels & Demons does promote a positive social message — having Tom Hanks do away with that mullet he had in The Da Vinci Code.

Which Movie Studio Will Cause The Most Youth To Smoke This Summer? Yours? [Deadline Hollywood Daily]

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