November 16, 2005
ASKS HOLLYWOOD TO ADD ANTI-SMOKING MESSAGE TO DVD’S
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that he
has asked Hollywood's major motion picture studios to insert anti-smoking
public service announcements in all DVD's, videos and other newer
home viewing formats of movies in which smoking is depicted. Attorney
General Curran's letter also is signed by 31 other Attorneys General.
Curran's letter is prompted by the November 7, 2005 publication
of the most recent study to find that adolescents with the greatest
exposure to depictions of smoking in movies were almost three times
more likely to try smoking than their peers in the least exposed
group, even after controlling for other known smoking initiation
factors. The study, which appeared in the journal Pediatrics and
was conducted by the Dartmouth Medical School with National Cancer
Institute funding, is the first to determine the effects of viewing
smoking in movies on a nationally representative sample of youth
in the United States.
This latest study reiterates what we have been telling the motion
picture industry for two years, we need their help in protecting
our children," said Attorney General Curran.
Attorney General Curran's letter also notes that
an anti-smoking Public Service Announcement (PSA) currently is
being produced by
the American Legacy Foundation, founded with money from the States'
Tobacco Litigation Master Settlement Agreement, to run in theaters
across this country. Citing the scientific evidence that airing
an anti-smoking PSA lessens the effects on youth from viewing movie
smoking, Curran told the studios that they "can dramatically
increase the number of young people who will receive that anti-smoking
message by attaching it to DVD, video and other home viewing format
movies (such as Universal Media Discs, "UMD's")" that
the studios distribute in which smoking is depicted.
From the 1998 landmark settlement with the tobacco industry, to
the 2004 settlement over the Kool Mixx Hip Hop campaign, actions
to prevent internet tobacco sales, and negotiated agreements on
best tobacco sales practices with national retailers like BP Amoco,
ExxonMobil, Walgreens, Walmart, RiteAid and 7-Eleven, Attorney
General Curran has made reducing youth smoking a priority of his