Brampton, ON. (September 5, 2014) – Youth from Brampton and Mississauga are travelling to the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Saturday to bring attention to the disturbing trend of tobacco content that appears in youth-rated movies, both globally and locally. They will be joining youth from across Ontario at a Director’s Cut event on September 6 to try to clear the smoke for the movie-going public and show how smoking in films helps the tobacco industry recruit a new generation of smokers.
“Depicting smoking in movies is a public health issue because children and teens watch a lot of movies and we know that it is the repeated exposure to smoking scenes that can influence youth to start smoking”, said Dr. David Mowat, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. “Unfortunately, many movies released in Ontario which contain smoking scenes are rated suitable for children and teens, putting them at risk to start to smoke.”
Children and teens in Ontario are exposed to more smoking in movies than youth in the U.S. because of differences in the way movies are rated. In 2013 alone, 86 percent of top-grossing movies featuring tobacco were rated at a level that allowed access to children and teens in Ontario (G, PG, 14A). Research shows that the more youth see smoking in movies, the more likely they are to start smoking.
Visit www.smokefreemovies.ca for more information and to access tools to help youth, parents and other Ontarians voice their concerns about smoking and tobacco use in children and teen-rated films. Details regarding the number of new releases with smoking in both theatres and on DVD/Blu-ray can be found at www.facebook.com/hookedbyhollywood or through Twitter @hookedhollywood.