What do you think about kids seeing smoking in movies? Do movies make smoking look cool? Imagine seeing an actor, actress or character that your kids look up to in their favourite movie. – Do your kids want to be like them? Do your kids imitate them? From the way they dress to things they say to things they do…kids are always watching their idols. Especially, tweens and teens.. Let’s discuss what you think about smoking in movies and their influence on kids?
Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Region of Peel and have received compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.
When Kids See Smoking in Movies
- 86% of movies with smoking were rated for kids and teens in Ontario
- 185,000 children and teens in Ontario will start smoking because of their exposure to onscreen smoking. Of those exposed, 59,000 will die from tobacco related diseases
I didn’t know these figures before I started this post, but they certainly make me think now.
When my teens go to the movies, I worry about violence, offensive language and overtly sexual scenes. However, I had never considered tobacco exposure. Now that I think about it, tobacco placement is everywhere
Kid friendly movies are packed with tobacco imagery. From characters that look menacing holding cigars for full mob-effect in crime movies.to the beautiful girl who asks the hero, “do you have a light?” while holding a cigarette between her fingers. These are scenes that we see in movies over and over again. Tobacco is not only used as a prop in the films our kids watch but also as a tool which holds meaning and impact.
What does tobacco in movies mean to our kids? Would it make them think the character is cool, brave or smart? Would your child think they might look cool, brave or smart if they smoked too?
What can you do?
Sign the e-petition in support of a change to the the Ontario Film classification act (we know we can’t change Hollywood but maybe we can make a difference at home). This petition calls for all new movies that contain tobacco to be rated 18A.
Voice your opinion: Visit www.smokefreemovies.ca/petition to sign the e-petition and use #SmokeFreeMovies in your social media.
I have signed the petition and I hope you do too. Big tobacco is all around us, especially on our screens. Usually a giant is hard to topple but if you raise your voice, even giants might listen.