Ontario youth in a 'TIFF' over on-screen smoking

    "Smoking in movies is no way to act!"

    TORONTO, Sept. 7 /CNW/ - Tobacco-free youth groups from 10 communities
across Ontario are converging on Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
venues tomorrow. Concerned youth and volunteers will rally to raise awareness
among movie-goers about the direct impact of smoking in youth-rated movies on
young people. The events will be held at 11:15 a.m. outside Scotiabank
Theatre, and at 1 p.m. next to Roy Thomson Hall
    "Many youth start smoking because they see actors smoke cigarettes in
movies", says Taniya of extinguish, a Peel region youth group. "Movies
featuring the use of tobacco products should be rated 18A. Images of smoking
in youth-rated movies are really just a type of advertising for an extremely
dangerous product, tobacco. Basically, smoking on screen doesn't need to be
    Scientific studies demonstrate the link between smoking in movies and
youth starting to smoke. A team of researchers at Dartmouth Medical School
found that youth who viewed many images of smoking in films were three times
more likely to start smoking.
    Canadian researchers are also examining the issue. Shannon Jette and
Robert Sparks of the University of British Columbia, and Sonya Dal Cin of
Dartmouth Medical School, wrote in the July/August issue of Policy Options
that "a growing body of research supports the conclusion that exposure to
tobacco use in movies encourages youth to smoke."
    With a backdrop of colourful banners, about 80 teenagers and interested
volunteers, dressed in smoke-free movies gear, will hand out information cards
and buttons and speak to TIFF moviegoers.
    "TIFF is our opportunity to reach a large number of film-goers and those
working in the movie industry with the message that smoking in youth-rated
movies leads to more young people lighting up," says Ryan of T-DOT, a Toronto
youth group.
    For more information on smoking in movies and its effect on youth
smoking, visit www.theotn.org.

For further information:

For further information: Lauren Wolff, Media Network for A Smoke-Free
Ontario, (416) 451-2061; Matt Drennan-Scace, Media Network for A Smoke-Free
Ontario, (416) 951-7956

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