It was May when we learned that the MPAA was going to take smoking into account with their ratings, but now Variety is reporting that the anti-tobacco American Legacy Foundation is saying that the attempt is an "empty policy." From their point of view, I'd have to agree -- all that the association has done is add a descriptor to their ratings. For example -- Hairspray got a "momentary teen smoking" label listed in their PG ratings -- as if that would do anything at all. Now a study has been published linking smoking in movies with teens, and ALF's Cheryl G. Healton says this "is the first national study to indicate that exposure to smoking in movies predicts whether young people will become lifelong smokers."

She went on to say: "Smoking in movies continues to influence American youth to become addicted to one of the most deadly products legally available for consumption." That being said, they are willing to make exceptions for flicks that show the dangers and consequences of smoking, and when "it is necessary to portray a real historical figure." Even with some compromise, I think the two sides are going to be warring for a while.

So, I have the solution. The ALF would be happy with films that show the consequences, but if a 20-something is smoking in a film that takes place over a month, or even a year, you can't really expect consequences to play a part. I, therefore, suggest that every film put one of those bonus scenes at the end of each movie, once the credits wrap. The scenes can jump into the future, regardless of plot appropriateness, and show each and every one of those super-cool smokers succumbing to the dangers of tobacco. Or, even better, get special 3D glasses that kids have to wear -- anyone who smokes on the screen can look like an alien through the glasses -- just like They Live! Okay, both are completely unrealistic, but at least they would be funny.
categories Movies, Cinematical