TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2013 /CNW/ - Youth advocates from across Ontario are at the Toronto International Film Festival today to call for action on smoking in youth-rated movies.
The youth will invite TIFF movie-goers to pose on a red carpet with a movie-themed backdrop to have their photos taken celebrity-style while raising awareness about the need to change Ontario's film rating system. The red carpet is located near the intersection of King and Simcoe streets outside of St. Andrew's Church.
"We know that the more youth see smoking in movies, the more likely they are to try smoking," says 17-year-old Shadi Mousavi Nia of Richmond Hill. "The tobacco industry knows if they don't get youth to try smoking before the age of 18, chances are they never will. We don't want our generation to become smokers."
The youth advocates will also ask for support for smoke-free youth-rated movies in Ontario by collecting signatures on postcards and online. Ontarians can show their support for smoke-free movies at takeaction.cancer.ca/smokefreemovies.
"Tobacco companies are no longer allowed to directly market their products to young people through media such as TV, radio and print. It's a problem that actors are lighting up on the silver screen because it displays tobacco use as more popular than it is. In reality, 16% of adults and 9% of youth smoke in Ontario," says Nicole McInerney, Senior Coordinator, Public Issues, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.
The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the Ontario Film Review Board to make changes to its movie rating system so that any new movies that have smoking scenes are rated 18A. This would ensure that all movies in Ontario rated for children and teens (G, PG and 14A) are smoke-free.
- Nearly 90% of smokers start before the age of 18.
- 30% of cancer deaths and 85% of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use.
About Canadian Cancer Society youth advocates
Canadian Cancer Society youth advocates are between the ages of 14-24 and are dedicated volunteers committed to engaging their peers and the greater community as cancer fighters on issues such as smoking in movies, flavoured tobacco and indoor tanning that impact youth. Youth use their voices and creativity to speak up to further the Society's advocacy efforts aimed at policy change at the provincial level of government.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
For 75 years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been with Canadians in the fight for life. We have been relentless in our commitment to prevent cancer, fund research and support Canadians touched by cancer. From this foundation, we will work with Canadians to change cancer forever so fewer Canadians are diagnosed with the disease and more survive. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website at cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY: 1-866-786-3934).
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)
For further information:
Christine Koserski, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division:
On day of event only: Nicole McInerney, Public Issues, Ontario Divison: 416-829-5299 (phone or text).