At the World Conference on Tobacco or Health, the Smoke Free Movies Action Network launched Screen Out!, the first campaign designed to help America's parents protect their kids against tobacco imagery in movies -- a primary influence on new adolescent smokers. The campaign is endorsed by the American Legacy Foundation, American Heart Association, American Medical Association and the State of New York Department of Health.
Screen Out! advises parents to limit kids' viewing of R-rated films, which give them half their tobacco exposure, and to press major studios and their parent companies to clear tobacco out of G, PG and PG-13 films, which deliver the other half.
I, for one, am always amazed at the number of friends and strangers who are still smoking. However, screening adolescents out seems like a parenting 101 no-no. You screen. They sneak. This is an area that calls for a lot of collaboration and cold, hard facts and scare tactics. Many smokers actually like to smoke. And that's compelling to a kid.
My grandfather had his lung removed in the 1950s due to lung cancer. All he wanted in the hospital was his pack of Lucky Strikes until he was plainly told by the doctor, "How would you like me to remove your other lung?"