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.
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.
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
Other New York State Initiatives
Reality Check is a youth led movement in New York State that empowers youth to become leaders in their communities in exposing what they see as the manipulative and deceptive marketing tactics of the tobacco industry. The organization’s members produce change in their communities through grassroots mobilization and education.
Health Systems for a Tobacco-Free New York provides New York’s healthcare community with evidence-based education, training, and resources. This helps to treat their tobacco-dependent patients and help them quit smoking successfully. TalkToYourPatients.org
New York State Smokers’ Quit Line is free and confidential service. They provide services to New York State residents who want to stop tobacco use. This includes, motivational coaching, free nicotine patches, an online smoke-free community, educational fact sheets, materials and videos. Additional educational tools and cessation resources are available. Mainly to healthcare providers, employers, educators, and others. In addition, this also includes a referral program for tobacco users.