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Old 11-17-05, 03:30 PM   #1
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Politicians urge DVD makers to put anti-smoking messages on DVDs.

Nov. 16, 2005

Pols kick biz in the butts

Anti-smoking ads urged


Proving that where there's smoke there's usually plenty of publicity, attorneys general from 32 states have signed on to a letter urging the major studios to affix antismoking public-service announcements to all new DVD and video releases in which smoking is depicted.

Campaign is being championed by Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., who wrote the various heads of the major studios in a Nov. 14 letter.

Curran noted that the attorneys general first raised their concerns with the Motion Picture Assn. of America in 2003 about "mounting scientific proof that young people who watch smoking in movies are more likely to begin smoking." The latest evidence came from a Dartmouth study, funded by the National Cancer Institute and released earlier this month, which researchers said establishes a "strong association" between exposure to movie smoking and tobacco use by adolescents.

In the letter sent to studio chiefs, Curran asks that each add to their upcoming DVDs a PSA being produced for theatrical exhibition by the American Legacy Foundation in conjunction with the Entertainment Industry Foundation and Will Rogers Institute. PSA is expected to be available early next year.

The National Assn. of Attorneys General has long been active in seeking to reduce smoking, which included previously lobbying that all movies containing depictions of smoking be given an R rating. However, it does not appear that the group has the authority to enforce such action, so it must be content with requesting that Hollywood do so.

Two representatives for major studios referred inquiries to the MPAAMPAA, whose spokeswoman, Kori Bernards, said each studio would decide for itself whether to carry PSAs. She added that descriptors in the movie ratings already delineate illegal activity, which includes underage smoking.

"Parents have the information they need to make decisions about what their kids see," Bernards said. "That's why we have a ratings system."

Despite Curran's assertion that there is a "direct relationship" between movies and "youth smoking initiation," another recent study presented a somewhat different view. Released in August by the peer-reviewing journal of the American College of Chest Physicians, that survey concluded that "lower-class, nonsuccessful 'bad guys' " were more likely to be shown smoking in movies, making portrayals of smoking anything but glamorous.

Although the research concluded that as opposed to showing smoking in a positive light, "the exact opposite is true," it also proposed increasing anti-tobacco messages in movies and their coming attractions and "to help educate the public -- especially children and young adults." Indie films were cited as being more indiscriminate in their portrayals of smoking.

Curran's office could not be reached for comment. More than 30 of his counterparts signed on to the letter, including attorneys general in New York, Illinois and the District of Columbia. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was not among them.
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Old 11-17-05, 03:36 PM   #2
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I'm no fan of pointless smoking in movies, which seems to be less of a case with newer films, and more of an issue with older ones. For instance, in all of Fletch, he never smokes, except when he's searching that house. There's absolutely no reason for him to smoke during that scene.

But.. I absolutely hate any kind of forced preview or psa on DVDs.
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Old 11-17-05, 03:41 PM   #3
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Yeah, great idea. Because there are lots of people out there that are unaware of the dangers of smoking.

(Maybe next year, we can start including PSAs about the evils of fried foods.)
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Old 11-17-05, 03:55 PM   #4
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How about anti-speeding messages in films with car chase scenes or anti-theft messages in movies where there's a heist or anti-killing messages in movies with shootouts.

Jesus, it's idiotic nonsense like this that makes me want to start smoking again, find these morons and blow smoke right in their faces...

Last edited by eXcentris; 11-17-05 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 11-17-05, 03:56 PM   #5
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Some other garbage i have to skip or sit through just to enjoy my movie.

I don't smoke and i take no joy of being around someone when they do...but how much more "anti-smoking" messages do we need? It's not like there arent a ton on TV.

Ban smoking in resturants...that'll send more of a message than placing a PSA before a movie.
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Old 11-17-05, 04:00 PM   #6
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Next thing you know, they'll have "Abstinence only" PSA's on movies that depict sex. Just let us watch and enjoy the movies!
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Old 11-17-05, 04:14 PM   #7
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WTF. I'm already pissed I gotta watch that stupid-ass anti-piracy one followed by three FBI screens, the we-are-not-responsible-for-the-commentary (now in multiple languages as well) disclaimers then four previews before I get to the three minute animated menu. Damn, it was great when I threw in the Beetlejuice DVD and the movie started playing right off the bat.

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Old 11-17-05, 04:38 PM   #8
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Old 11-17-05, 04:48 PM   #9
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Sure, taht's all well and good, but where are the ant-murder messages on all violent films? Kids need to know murder is bad and has negative effects!
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Old 11-17-05, 08:11 PM   #10
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I want to make a PSA protesting crap you have to sit through before you can watch the movie
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Old 11-17-05, 10:11 PM   #11
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Yea, because we all know that the 1 out of 2 reasons why I started smoking was because I saw Robert DeNiro light up about 200 cigs in the movie Casino. (The 2nd reason is because I'm an idiot)
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Old 11-18-05, 07:47 AM   #12
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I think smoking is stupid just as much as the next non-smoker, but really, we're going a little far here (okay, it's already going too far banning it in most public places). Besides, who smokes in movies anymore anyway? Soon enough it'll constitute an "R" rating!
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Old 11-18-05, 07:54 AM   #13
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If it's SKIPPABLE then fine, or bury it in the menu somewhere.

Maybe if the stars/people in the movie/show are in each PSA, then that would be kind of cool. Like NBC's, the more you know...

How about putting it only on FOOL-Screen copies of DVDs since those who need to see these PSA's are Smoking-fools!
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Old 11-18-05, 08:07 AM   #14
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Old 11-18-05, 08:40 AM   #15
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Well, since the FBI Warning screen universally stopped piracy dead in its tracks, this might just work.
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Old 11-18-05, 11:41 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Randy Miller III
Well, since the FBI Warning screen universally stopped piracy dead in its tracks, this might just work.

An anti-smoking ad is just rediculous.
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Old 11-18-05, 12:25 PM   #17
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Now what they need to do is put anti-piracy messages on cigarette packs.
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Old 11-18-05, 01:51 PM   #18
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Lord knows that they should put safe gun handling tips on action dvds. Man, if I had a dollar for everytime I saw some idiot putting his (or her) finger inside the trigger guard before they're ready to fire, I could buy an island and retire!
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Old 11-18-05, 02:22 PM   #19
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Crap like that is wasting movie bitspace!

Paying studios money for DVDs can be harmful to some peoples' finances, yet they keep promoting the product with their "Own it Tuesday!" mentality.

Guilting/Annoying/Scaring/Educating people to stop smoking is handled perfectly well by network television, print campaigns and bar/restaurant bylaws.
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Old 11-18-05, 03:35 PM   #20
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Doesn't it give you a feeling of pride and accomplishment knowing that this is what your hard earned tax dollars are paying for.
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Old 11-18-05, 04:25 PM   #21
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Old 11-18-05, 05:48 PM   #22
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Old 11-18-05, 05:51 PM   #23
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Now they just need to put some anti-advertising messages on there. Do I really need to pay money to watch ads about not smoking and piracy? Hell I can't afford to buy cigarettes (and I wouldnt anyway) since most of my free money is burned up on dvds.
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Old 11-18-05, 08:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Jesus, it's idiotic nonsense like this that makes me want to start smoking again, find these morons and blow smoke right in their faces...
I guess they better hurry up and get those PSAs on the DVDs quick so you can read it and know that smoking is bad.
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Old 11-18-05, 08:32 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Jack Straw
Doesn't it give you a feeling of pride and accomplishment knowing that this is what your hard earned tax dollars are paying for.
Based on my payroll statement every Friday, I wouldn't be satisfied until they actually showed up personally to deliver the message. DVDs are a friggin cop out.
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