The evidence is conclusive. Smoking in movies kills in real life.

The evidence is sufficient to conclude that there is a causal relationship between depictions of smoking in the movies and the initiation of smoking among young people. — US Surgeon General, 2012

Giving an R rating to future movies with smoking would be expected to reduce the number of teen smokers by nearly 1 in 5 (18%) and prevent 1 million deaths from smoking among children alive today. — US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014


Tobacco use on screen has become nearly unavoidable.
Boy watching tv

Take Action!

The amount of smoking in top-grossing movies rose to 3,618 incidents in 2019, the most in more than a decade.  In-theater tobacco impressions more than doubled over the past five years, from 9.3 billion in 2015 to 23.7 billion in 2019. The popularity of streaming has boomed over the past year with shows like Stranger Things, Ozark and Outer Banks exposing teens and young adults to hundreds of tobacco depictions.

Why an R-rating?

Rating all future productions with tobacco imagery R or TV-MA would be expected to reduce the number of teen smokers by nearly 1 in 5 (18%), preventing up to 1 million deaths from smoking among children alive today.

Steps New York State has taken: 

Reality Check youth leaders are educating and mobilizing their peers, schools, parents, and other key leaders to influence decision-makers in the movie and media industry to create changes that protect our children.

Every year Reality Check shines the spotlight on Hollywood during the Oscars to raise awareness about tobacco use in films.

Contact us to get involved locally!


In Movies and Online

Reality Check youth leaders are educating and mobilizing their peers, schools, parents and other key leaders to influence decision makers in the movie and media industry to create changes that protect our children.

To get involved, find your local Reality Check Coordinator