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For Immediate Release
November 16, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357


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 administration.





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