"The more YOUTH see SMOKING in movies, the more likely they are to start
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TORONTO, May 31, 2011 /CNW/ - The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free
Movies presented compelling new public survey results on World No
Tobacco Day and cited the growing body of evidence and support from
leading health organizations which include: the U.S. Centres for
Disease Control, the U.S. National Cancer Institute, and the World
Health Organization. According to the survey, nearly three out of four
(73 per cent) Ontarians said they would support a policy initiative to
get smoking out of youth-rated movies.
"Research shows the more youth see smoking in movies, the more likely
they are to start," said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, medical officer of
health, Peterborough County-City Health Unit, one of the many
organizations endorsing policy recommendations to remove smoking from
youth-rated movies. "The public agrees that smoking in movies is a
serious public health issue, especially as it relates to youth. As
tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death
in Ontario, this issue needs to be addressed."
The survey was commissioned by the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free
Movies, a group of significant health organizations from across the
province that have come together to counter the harmful impact of
smoking in movies, particularly as it targets and influences Ontario's
youth. The March 2011 survey was conducted by Ipsos Reid and is based
on online interviews with a stratified random sampling of 812
Ontarians, 18 years of age or older.
Ontarians were asked, "To what extent would you support the following
policy initiative aimed to reduce the impact of smoking in movies?" -
Not allowing smoking in movies that are rated G, PG or 14A. Their
"It is clear that the majority of Ontarians support getting tobacco out
of films rated for youth audiences," said Andrea Kita, co-chair,
Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies and project manager, Central
West Tobacco Control Area Network. "We need change in Ontario to
reflect what the public wants - no tobacco use or product placement in
movies rated G, PG or 14A."
Youth exposure to smoking by youth-rated movies is actually far more
prevalent in Canada than in the United States because Canadian film
review boards give movies a youth rating more often. For example,
between June and December 2010, the Ontario Film Review Board granted
youth ratings to 90 per cent of top-grossing films, compared to just 69
per cent of films receiving similar ratings from the Motion Picture
Association of America.
These movies, rated G, PG or 14A in Ontario, delivered 293 million
impressions to theatre audiences across the province, accounting for 87
per cent of all in-theatre tobacco impressions. In theatres across the
United States, youth-rated movies accounted for only 51 per cent of
"There are more than 300,000 teen smokers in Canada today, and their
unnecessary exposure to smoking on screen does influence their decision
to smoke," said George Habib, president and chief executive officer,
Ontario Lung Association. "Preventing youth uptake of smoking is one of
the most important things that we need to do for our young people and
it is clear that removing on-screen smoking in youth-rated movies is a
key way to do so."
Throughout Ontario, youth groups are educating peers about how the
tobacco industry has been targeting them through smoking in youth-rated
"When Vince Vaughn or Keira Knightly smoke, it influences youth to do
the same," said Jordan Alexander, a 17-year-old youth ambassador for
smoke-free movies. "These are our role models. The tobacco industry
has had a history of paying actors to smoke and paying to place its
products in movies. Whether we like it or not, this type of marketing
is effective and we're here to ensure youth aren't recruited through
the movies to be the next generation of smokers."
For more information and access to tools to help Ontarians voice
concerns about tobacco in youth-rated movies, visit www.smokefreemovies.ca.
Survey Results: These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey conducted on behalf of
the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, a member of the Ontario
Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies. A total of n=812 Ontarians 18+ were
interviewed using Ipsos' online omnibus March 25-30, 2011. Data was
weighted by region, age, and gender to ensure the sample matched the
actual adult population of Ontario. The margin of error for this study
is +/-3.1%, 19 times out of 20.
About the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies
The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies is a group of leading health
organizations taking collective action to counter the harmful impact of
smoking in youth-rated movies. Members of the coalition include the Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario, Non-Smokers' Rights Association / Smoking and Health Action Foundation, Ontario Lung Association, Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada and the Ontario Tobacco Control Networks of Public Health Units. For
more information, please visit www.smokefreemovies.ca.
/NOTE TO EDITORS: Media Assets accompanying this story are available as
Video: to follow
SOURCE Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies
For further information:
Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies