Based on a True Story: Children and Youth Exposed to Smoking in Movies

On Saturday, youth from around the province will join forces to call for smoke-free youth-rated movies


On the opening weekend of the Toronto International Film Festival, youth activists from across Ontario will stage a demonstration march through downtown Toronto calling for youth-rated movies to be tobacco-free.


Marchers will assemble at 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 10


Nathan Phillips Square


Chris Yaccato, 416-303-4589 (cell)


TORONTO, Sept. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - As a galaxy of movie stars descends on the city for the annual Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), young people from across Ontario will march through downtown Toronto on Saturday, September 10, to send a message to these famous visitors and their fans: BUTT OUT in movies rated for children and teens.

"Smoking isn`t glamorous or sexy. We are tired of seeing Hollywood portraying this behaviour as normal for youth. It's time for the Province of Ontario to take this issue seriously," said Rakhshan Kamran, a Big Tobacco Lies volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society.

The event, organized by the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies and Canadian Cancer Society's 'Big Tobacco Lies' youth group, begins at 2:00 p.m. at Toronto City Hall where youth participants will be educating visitors about the issue, hosting a peaceful demonstration and securing signatures of support to make all new youth-rated movies in Ontario smoke-free.

"Parents always try to do and be the best for their children," said Tirthesha Pandya, of Toronto, an Ontario Lung Association youth volunteer. "Violence, language, nudity, sexual activity, horror and psychological impact including substance abuse are among the criteria considered when assigning a movie rating. To help prevent a new generation of addicted tobacco users, movies rated for children and teens need to be smoke-free."

Saturday's event in Toronto will also highlight growing public support for the use of movie ratings to ensure that youth-rated movies are smoke-free. Almost eight in ten Ontarians support smoke free movies rated for children and teens according to the results of a 2015 Ipsos Reid poll.1


The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit (OTRU) report Exposure to Onscreen Tobacco in Movies among Ontario Youth, 2004-2014 found that 86 per cent of movies with on-screen smoking released in Ontario were rated for children and teens. OTRU estimates that at least 185,000 children and teens aged 0-17 living in Ontario today will be recruited to cigarette smoking by their exposure to onscreen smoking and that at least 59,000 of them will die prematurely from smoking-related diseases. Making youth-rated films smoke-free would prevent an estimated 30,000 tobacco-related deaths and save more than half a billion dollars in health-care costs.2

About the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies

The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies is an alliance of leading health organizations taking collective action to counter the harmful impact of smoking in youth-rated movies. Members of the coalition include the Ontario Lung Association, Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Non-Smokers' Rights Association/Smoking and Health Action Foundation, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the Tobacco Control Networks of Public Health Units in Ontario. For more information visit:


SOURCE Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies

For further information: Media Inquiries: Chris Yaccato, Ontario Lung Association, Government Relations and Public Affairs, 416-303-4589 |

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Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies

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