Dann: Cigarettes not welcome in movies

By John O'Brien | May 9, 2007


COLUMBUS, Ohio - Instead of excessive violence or sexual situations, Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann recently spoke out against smoking in movies.

Last Tuesday, Dann joined a group of attorneys general who are asking Hollywood's major motion picture studios to remove smoking depictions from films accessible to children.

In a letter, he asks those studios to heed the advice of the Harvard School of Public Health, which has urged the Motion Picture Association of America to eliminate depictions of smoking from films seen by children.

Dann said as many as 41 attorneys general have contacted the movie industry for help in reducing youth smoking by eliminating tobacco brand appearances in movies, reducing depictions of smoking and airing anti-smoking public service announcements.

Dann says in his letter that each time a studio releases a movie that depicts smoking, it does so with the knowledge of the harm it will bring to children.

"This is particularly disturbing, given that three-quarters of PG-13 movies and more than one-third of G and PG movies depicted smoking," Dann said. "We are counting on the MPAA and its studios to follow the advice they sought."

The letter was sent to MPAA member companies The Walt Disney Studios, Fox Filmed Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Universal Studios, and Paramount Pictures. The letter was also sent to independent movie studios Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company.

The Weinstein Company is the only movie studio to agree to insert American Legacy Foundation truth anti-smoking messages in DVD movies that depict smoking. That measure was requested by the attorneys general in September 2006.

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