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show smoke in the movies and get an R rating? Yeah, right

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show smoke in the movies and get an R rating? Yeah, right

Old 02-26-04, 01:12 PM
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Originally posted by Inverse
[BThere hasn't been a shred of evidence put forward in this thread to suggest that the majority of people think showing smoking warrants an R rating--none at all. [/B]
Exactly, all the talk about marketing is just an attempt to obfuscate the topic.
Old 02-26-04, 01:30 PM
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Jackskeleton: You're drifting off the subject. Let's recap. You said the majority of the public supports an automatic R for smoking so anyone who disagreed should "deal with it"; I said prove it; and instead of backing up the claim you went off on unrelated tangents about video game violence and how you go to G rated movies.

If you believe in an automatic R for smoking, fine--we'll agree to disagree. (I do agree it should be one of many factors taken into account for a rating, but I can't really see rating a movie R just for smoking unless it's 2 1/2 hours of eight year olds puffing unfiltered Camels. And I'm a lifelong non-smoker.)

But don't just assume you're in the majority without evidence. And please don't try to cram your unsubstantiated opinions down other people's throats under the dubious banner of "majority rule." Majorities are often completely wrong, and minorities have a right to their opinion.
Old 02-26-04, 03:37 PM
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another thing that we seem to be avoiding...and a point JackSkel seems to push...is that movies are somehow advertising cigerettes and being used as product placement for these companies. I say nay, that just ain't true.

Again Jack, name ONE recent movie that featured cigerette smoking, wasn't R rated to begin with, and had smoking used that wasn't context based, and seemed to be for marketing. I bet you can't think of ONE, because there aren't any. Hell James Bond doesn't even frikkin smoke anymore. The main reason there is no need for this is because there ISN"T A PROBLEM! Let's not even think about the fact that they shouldn't do this even if there was a problem.
Old 02-26-04, 06:24 PM
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Ha ha! I'm over 18. I don't care about movie ratings anymore.

And if a director sells out to get a PG-13, chances are that the movie isn't that special to them anyway.

Hell! I don't even care if they smoke in movies.
Old 02-26-04, 08:06 PM
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I said prove it; and instead of backing up the claim you went off on unrelated tangents about video game violence and how you go to G rated movies.
The Tangent was based off the many different post I had to respond to. If you are here looking for a 1 on 1 tango then I would suggest you take a number and sit down since I have been trying to look at this on the perspective and stand for the use of a more discriptive rating system by adding something to the already existing rating. Read the following long winded post. it should provide some "evidence" which I'm sure you folks will just pick apart and say I'm full of shit, whatever. In any case now back I finally got some of your stats, article and % you guys were badgering about..

http://ncronline.org/NCR_Online/archives2/2004a/020604/020604a.php
By SUZANNE BATCHELOR

“Smoking in movies is responsible for addicting 1,080 U.S. adolescents to tobacco every day, 340 of whom will die prematurely as a result.” -- Editorial, The Lancet British medical journal, June 10, 2003

Watching popular movies is the No. 1 factor leading nonsmoking teens to light up, say researchers from New Hampshire’s Dartmouth Medical School in a landmark 2003 study published in The Lancet. They found film character smoking more persuasive than traditional advertising, peer pressure or parents.

“Smoking in movies is having a major effect on health,” concluded The Lancet editorial accompanying their findings.

Note from the Editors:
This is a premium content page.

During the initial launch of Health Beat coverage, NCR will make these articles available for all Web site visitors.
Given that the tobacco companies have agreed in settlements to cease marketing to the young, the question remains, how is it that the film industry has begun to release movies that give special play to lead figures who smoke?

No one seems to have any easy answers, but regardless of why movie characters are smoking, the health harm is the same.

“There’s a link between movie smoking and what kids do, and there’s a lot of smoking in movies. It’s extremely prevalent,” said physician Michael Beach, who worked with Drs. Madeline Dalton, James Sargent and others on the Dartmouth study. Surprisingly, the researchers found the persuasive effect was strongest in children of nonsmoking parents.

Beach and colleagues also found that about 60 percent of the smoking in popular films was seen in the youth-rated movies (G, PG and PG-13).

Beach is typical of many tobacco control advocates and researchers who see:

Attractive actors smoking identifiable brands on-screen, making tobacco control advocates fear for the health of a new, young generation of tobacco addicts;
A tobacco industry that says it advertises only to adults who freely choose to smoke while the a film industry keeps producing movies aimed at teens in which smoking is surprisingly widespread;
Intriguing questions -- but no answers -- about how tobacco products get such big play in most top-rated and youth-rated movies.
To take the last point first: Among the top 10 box office movies reported for the week of Nov. 10 -- including “The Matrix Revolutions,” “Elf,” “School of Rock,” “Mystic River,” “Scary Movie 3,” “Radio” and “Brother Bear” -- only “Brother Bear” was smoking free. Characters smoke in more than two-thirds of youth-rated movies released in 2002 (movies rated G, PG and PG-13), according to a survey by Dr. Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine, and analyst Karen Kacirk.

Most smokers begin as teenagers, researchers say, and smoking may be more addictive begun in those years when the brain is still forming.

“If you don’t smoke by 18 or 21,” Beach said, “the odds of starting as an adult are extremely small. It’s getting these children through adolescence that’s particularly important.”


Only the major characters

The Dartmouth movie study didn’t count the characters lighting up in the background, only cigarettes on the lips of major film characters. Researchers followed 2,600 children who had never smoked, ages 10 to 14, for one and two years, tracking which of 50 randomly selected top-selling movies they watched. Smoking by each film’s central characters was measured.

Movie watching nearly tripled the risk a teen would start smoking, said Beach, who added, “What’s surprising to some people is that movies can have that much impact.” But is it? “Tom Cruise wore Ray-Ban sunglasses in one film and suddenly everyone has them.” No surprise then at what results when “Julia Roberts and Sean Penn are seen smoking in movies.”

Along with smoking, clearly visible tobacco brand names in movies are a major issue with anti-smoking advocates.

Health advocates point to the Marlboros smoked by Sam Rockwell in the 2003 film “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind,” Sissy Spacek’s Marlboros in “In the Bedroom,” Russell Crowe’s Winstons in “A Beautiful Mind,” or John Travolta’s Skoal in “Basic,” to name but a few examples.

“Product placement” is an accepted form of advertising in which companies pay for movie exposure of their products. But paid product placement for tobacco products has been illegal since the signing of the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (see related story). No one has come forward with evidence of paid product placement of tobacco products since then.

Products might also appear as a matter of artistic expression or because they are integral to the plot of the story.

“In ‘Men in Black II,’ ” said Beach, “you see the stars with a Marlboro carton. But when they open a refrigerator to get a jar of mayonnaise, the label on the mayonnaise is covered.”

“If producers or directors use or depict our brands, they do so without seeking or obtaining our permission,” said spokesperson Jennifer Golisch of Philip Morris USA, maker of Marlboros. “Our policy for over a decade has been to deny requests for use of our cigarette brands, name or packaging in motion pictures or television shows for the general public, irrespective of whether that audience is adults or minors.”

Catholic ethicists question Hollywood’s attractive presentation of the harmful habit to adolescents.

“ ‘Persuasion’ we usually think of as the art of convincing somebody of something they’re capable of thinking through, like persuading someone to vote for the candidate of our choice. This is different. We think it’s something young people can’t think their way through,” says ethicist Carol Bayley of Catholic Healthcare West in San Francisco. “Then it’s not free choice and it’s not persuasion. It’s something else.”

Bayley said Catholic Healthcare West held tobacco stocks for many years, using ownership as leverage to urge tobacco companies to stop advertising to young people. “We ended up divesting of the stock because they just wouldn’t change,” she said. But, she added, widespread public opinion against such marketing might halt it.

Five years ago, one university professor began his own campaign, “Smoke Free Movies,” and Web site. “Many women have told me they started smoking because of Olivia Newton John in ‘Grease,’ ” said Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco and a director of its Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

More than in the 1960s

When Glantz and analyst Karen Kacirk found there is more smoking in movies now than in the 1960s, his outrage led Glantz to create the “Smoke Free Movies” campaign, documenting the evidence frame by frame -- Gwyneth Paltrow lighting Kools in “Great Expectations” (1998), Johnny Depp smoking Lucky Strikes in “The Ninth Gate” (2000), stars such as Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt and Drew Barrymore exhaling smoke onscreen.

Glantz and Kacirk want Hollywood to rate “smoking” movies “R.”

If an actor says the “F-word” twice in a film, or once in a sexual context (versus a single profanity exclamation), that film receives an R rating, explained Glantz. “I want tobacco treated as seriously as they treat the F-word.”

Glantz criticized last year’s Oscar-winner “Chicago” for its strong influence on teen girls. “In the 1920s about 5 percent of women smoked and the ones smoking were the rich ones, not the ‘gun molls’ -- so the fact they were smoking at all was completely misleading. You have very high-profile actresses in a tremendously successful movie,” said Glantz of “Chicago” stars Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones, who smoke in the movie, as does star Richard Gere. “There’s a lot of girls who are smoking now because of that movie and girls will start smoking for years because of that movie.”

Glantz said the Smoke Free Movies group’s ads and letter campaigns have provoked no explanation from the movie industry. “We do know smoking is there, that there’s more than there used to be, yet everybody denies everything. That’s nothing new,” said Glantz. “Nobody is taking responsibility.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta found an increase in high school age smoking from 1990 through 1996, and that group continues to smoke, said Corinne Husten, a physician and chief of epidemiology at the center’s Office on Smoking and Health.

“Each day, 6,000 children under 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette. Almost 2,000 of them will become regular smokers -- that’s 757,000 annually,” states the American Lung Association Web site.

“If current tobacco use patterns persist, an estimated 6.4 million children will die prematurely from a smoking-related disease,” the association estimates.

Seeing smoking as normal

Husten said movies subtly suggest, especially to the young, that smoking is normal. She mentions a 1999 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that found tobacco use in 79 percent of movies rated G or PG and 82 percent of those rated PG-13. That study, “Substance Use in Popular Movies and Music,” was done by the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

“To some extent, tobacco companies preach that it [smoking] is a choice, but if you’re addicted to something, it’s not really a choice,” said Husten. “Most of the time people try to quit they’re not successful. They find they’re unable to quit. That points to a strong need to help adolescents understand it’s dangerous to dabble.”

“Young adults think they’re in control, they can stop,” said Sherry Marts, science director at the nonprofit Society for Women’s Health Research in Washington. “A few might be able to but the majority of us, our brains are wired in a way that makes us susceptible to this addiction.”

Smoking’s persistence, Husten said, is aided by a key misunderstanding. “People probably get addicted much faster than we used to think,” she said. “I think the power of addiction has been underestimated, and adolescents underestimate the likelihood that they themselves will become addicted.”

Now Fr. Michael Crosby, a Capuchin priest, has joined Glantz’s challenge to the movie industry. Head since 1980 of the tobacco program at Milwaukee’s Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, Crosby and allied religious orders have begun filing shareholder resolutions with major film industry leaders: Universal (and parent General Electric), Warner Bros (and parent Time Warner), Paramount (and parent Viacom) and Disney. Two-third of Disney’s youth-rated movies show tobacco use, according to a survey of 2002 movies by Glantz and Kacirk.

Glantz calls the interfaith center’s resolutions “a very big deal. The work Mike Crosby is doing is tremendously important.”

Crosby’s Midwest Capuchins and the interfaith center are joined by the Sisters of St. Francis U.S. Province (Milwaukee), Trinity Health (Detroit), Sisters of St. Dominic (Sinsinawa, Wis.) and Servants of Mary (Ladysmith, Wis.) in filing the shareholder resolutions against movie smoking.

“When you don’t get anywhere communicating with management,” Crosby said of past outreach to the film companies, “you have to go to the shareholders.” Crosby said the interfaith center will publish ads to reach shareholders and generate public support in preparation for next spring’s film industry shareholder meetings.

“How can anybody who is on the board of these companies who has teens or young kids themselves not understand this issue?” he asks.

Hanson, director of Santa Clara University’s Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, said the ethical value of free choice may be trumped by tobacco’s harm.

“It is particularly objectionable to target young individuals because of the addictive character of cigarettes,” said Hanson. “If you can get them while they’re vulnerable and not thinking as clearly, you can get them for life, except for a Herculean effort to extract themselves.

“A lot of Catholic thinking about issues like tobacco is based upon the concept of respect for the human being. Clearly, one is not respectful of the human body if one produces a product which used as intended produces harm to the body,” said Hanson.


BBC aritcle from some time back about anti-smoking:


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2977472.stm

Film smoking 'influences' children
Youngsters who watch films in which actors are seen smoking are three times as likely to take up the habit, according to research.
Research in health journal The Lancet said smoking in movies can actually encourage non-smokers to follow their screen idols.

The findings have been both welcomed and rubbished, with some experts saying there are too many other factors which influence whether teenagers do go on to smoke.

The US study has also led anti-smoking group Glantz to call for films where actors are seen smoking to be given an adult R-rating.

Bollywood stars have already launched their own campaign to persuade film-makers to avoid using smoking in films.


The latest research, which was conducted at Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire, studied 2,063 children between the ages of 10 and 14 who had never touched a cigarette.
In 1999, the children were asked which films they had seen from a list of 50 from the past decade.

It was then calculated how many incidents of smoking they had witnessed, and split into four groups depending on their exposure level from zero to 531 occurrences and 1,665 and 5,308.

Between one and two years later 10% of the overall group had started or tried smoking, with the majority of those coming from the group who had seen more films scenes featuring smoking.

Findings dismissed

Taking into account other factors such as peer pressure and rebelliousness, it was calculated that children were three times more likely to take up the habit if they were in the group who watched the highest amount of screen smoking.

The investigation also concluded that 52% of children involved took up smoking because of the influence of screen stars.

But media theorist Paul Levinson of Fordham University, New York, dismissed the findings as inaccurate for not looking at how important other factors were on smoking.

Tobacco giant Philip Morris USA said the industry was not to blame for the amount of smoking seen in films as it did not condone the product placement of tobacco products.

It said directors and producers needed to be careful about depicting smoking in youth-targeted films.


Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...nt/2977472.stm

Published: 2003/06/10 09:13:18 GMT

© BBC MMIV

Well that was long winded, but hey whatever, you guys bitch about how there is no proof of anything being bad here are some more articles if you wish to read them.. or if you just want to toss them at me and say they aren't worth crap.. whatever, I'm doing what I can to speak for the side FOR some kind of warning or thought when rating said film just for the sake of everyone. Not an automatic R rating for one cig, but for a general over haul to make it more discriptive.

Attorneys general push Hollywood to cut down on smoking in movies

Here's some studies % from the site I originally posted from.

http://www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/...ton-Lancet.pdf

Now while I don't agree to the extremes that this site goes on about smoke free films, I do agree that a warning of some sort should be placed just for the basic idea to be more clear about the content in a film

http://www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/index.html

Oh yeah Jaeufraser.. Here you go.. your ONE flick that was full of product placements that were not just limited to this.. M.I.B. II



Now since we couldn't have had a smoking cool looking Joe camel since it appealed to kids what makes you think smoking "hip" aliens would be any different? Besides Jaeufraser, I thought we were on some sort of an agree to disagree/agree to agree on what we did agree on term. but it seems you jumped on the wagon when a few others wanted to tango. I agree the majority are already in R rated films regardless what that site does say, but I'm still on the stance that if it's in a film then you should take it into consideration. If you believe there isn't that much of a big deal to either make it part of what would be considered in order to make the rating accordly, then what is the big deal if it is placed in the factor? You may have missed it if you haven't been reading my post, but I did say that smoking alone shouldn't be the only thing that makes it R rated. Or did you just decide to ignore everything that sounded like an agreement between us? Same goes for you Inverse. I doubt that I said that smoking alone should warrent an automatic R. I do believe that I made it clear that it should just be one of the factors. That at the very least it should be taken into consideration based on the context that it is used in.

Again if you missed that.. BASED ON THE CONTEXT. I DO NOT BELIEVE IT SHOULD BE AN AUTOMATIC R RATING IF SOMEONE IN THE BACKGROUND IS SMOKING, BUT THAT IF SMOKING IS USED IN A FILM THAT IT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED ON IT'S CONTEXT ON WHAT THE FILMS RATING SHOULD BE. did you guys get it that time or should I post it in another post later on?

It is my belief that if you make it more clear why something is rated the way it is then it has a better chance of bringing in a better box office take in. It's fairly clear without the need of % or stats that R rated films do not do as well as say a PG film because of the amount of people who can't watch a film without the parents. Parents who might just see an R rating and say no way. Now if we made it so that it was R rated and it was made very clear why exactly it was rated that way then you would get more educated parents who would go on and say exactly what is wrong with it then you might very well bring in someone who would have just passed it off as an R rated film with no chance to see it. The current system does not bring enough awareness to why a film is rated the way it is. You make it clear by adding little tid bits about smoking, drinking etc and anything else that might open it up. Lets take for example Butterfly effect:

"Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and brief drug use."

Now does that really say what kind of violence? does it mention the violence between kids killing kids? Kids blowing up shit with a stick of dynomite? Smoking childern? Drug use yes.. but it mentions nothing about kids smoking themselves. Sure it's rated R already, but how much more trouble would it be to label it with something about the use of smoking in it?

Ha ha! I'm over 18. I don't care about movie ratings anymore.
And if a director sells out to get a PG-13, chances are that the movie isn't that special to them anyway.
Hell! I don't even care if they smoke in movies.
You know, I'm totally with you on that one. I don't look at ratings anymore. I seldomly even did before I was 17 anyways. Does this effect me? No, not really. I could sleep at night with or without the added crap. For those who have childern and might consider it something of a factor to monitor what there kids are watching though, I would think that a better system where it describes exactly everything that might be considered high risk listed as a warning and base the films rating off said items. By adding that you might very well get rid of directors having to sacrifice their work by re-editing it because with more educated parents that have the knowledge of what might be offending material in there in detail, they might very well take there kid to an R rated film.

This might be a double edge sword because you now get kids in an R rated film bugging the shit out of your theater going experience.. but still, that's one view point on it.


Let's not even think about the fact that they shouldn't do this even if there was a problem.
Yeah.. heaven forbid anyone would want to prevent or look after any sort of Health of the youth..

So now, where are those %, quotes, articles, and so forth that I asked for? You know. the ones that showed that Parents and the Majority doesn't give a rats ass about Tobacco being marketed to kids in some shape or form?

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-26-04 at 08:23 PM.
Old 02-26-04, 09:29 PM
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I prolly spoke too soon asking for just one example, of course there will be some. But even that I don't think is a case of blatant produt placement, nor an effort to make smoking "cool." Seems more like a contextually placed joke to me. My beef is with this group, and if anything my argument against you is against them, but they're not here to pick on, so I apologize if it seems I'm picking on you. I think we do agree this group is a bit overboard in their sentiments.

So I'm just gonna stop arguing about this...I think everyone here agrees automatic R for smoking is ridiculous.
Old 02-26-04, 09:49 PM
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hee hee, no going back on it now. You said ONE and you got one. Of course I got that off the site I linked and there was many other films which had examples. Main problem was as you said a lot where indeed already rated R or to my knowledge the PG-13's weren't really anything more then just a character smoking. While I'm sure we can find examples of the lead hero or cool villain smoking, it's just not solid enough to really prove that it is making the kids smoke. At most you can just make the assumption that the image makes the kids want to emulate the character. Even that is hard to prove.

Yes, I do not entirely agree with the extremes the group goes to with it, I do think that a more discriptive rating system or one that offers more inside to why a film is rated R then what info is already given in the awful sum up they provide.

It would create more awareness and I'm thinking it would actually improve the take in's that R rated films get from educated consumers.

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-26-04 at 09:54 PM.
Old 02-26-04, 10:02 PM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
hee hee, no going back on it now. You said ONE and you got one.
Don't gloat! Makes me look bad...
Old 02-27-04, 02:14 AM
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Hey, I heard in Harry Potter 3 that Harry can only use his magic after taking a trip to pleasure country and that his dad will be Doug Henning.
Old 02-27-04, 02:35 AM
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Yeah, but in the European version Potter will have to smoke on a ***....

Mes cusi Mes Cusi! I kid I kid!

see the Synonyms, http://www.hyperdictionary.com/dictionary/cigarette

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Old 02-27-04, 03:39 AM
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And to make sure I don't ignore other comments since I seem to be the only one on the other side of the fence here..

Originally posted by brizz
because, yeah, no teenage has every smoked, and if they saw another one smoking, they'd immediately go out and buy some what an appallingly hypervigilant view of things that is....The MPAA just needs to go away period, not get even more stringent in their "parenting" and serving as morality police.
Odd how you make it seem like the MPAA is a sort of Uber Nazi super police of some sort. If anything, they are best described as a taster of films. they taste the film and tell you what it's about by giving it a "spicey" rating so to speak. It can be Mild (a G, PG). It could be Hot (Pg-13), it could be Very calente (R) or it could be a "Texas A-bomb Scorcher" (NC-17). Studios submit and the MPAA judges based on the standards and practices that the general public and the Majority deems fit as to proper ratings. No studio HAS to change a thing. They can choose to keep the rating they are given or they can edit/alter based on the SUGGESTIONS and re-submit it.. but they don't even have to submit it in the first place. So why make them seem like nazi's uber police of the creative film world?

Let me guess, You hate police because they are "the man" who just likes to hassle upstanding citizens going 10 mph past the speed limit right? The MPAA is simply there to offer a guideline to concerned parents who want to know what a film contains and if it is alright for their childern to watch based on the standards that the majority have put forth on them. Those NAZI'S! HOW DARE THEY! HOW DARE THEY INDEED!

brizz went on to rant and rave about...
here's a newsflash: people smoke, and people will continue to smoke no matter how much you, the MPAA, or clear channel try to "protect" us from it and other evils....

meanwhile....violence is still OK!!! Go blow some shit up and shoot people....that's cool!!!
Here's a news flash.. WTF does clear channel have to do with this conversation? Hey, I have an Idea, why not bring a Company that has nothing to do with films and very little to do with TV into the conversation about the MPAA
Did you forget to mention RIAA? Or were you saving "the big guns" for later?

[side track]
I'll admit that clear channel is annoying, but it has nothing to do with the conversation at hand. Censorship? No. they just made a business choice to drop Howard Stern so that they can look good for the FCC.[/side tracked]

Back to the actual topic here... Kids might still smoke, but by NOT advertising or making it look appealing to them perhaps it will take some more time before they actually decide to smoke when they are of legal age to make the choice. Look at the articles above. it's shown that Smoking in the media might infact be a factor in kids decission to smoke by simply being exposed to it in that manner.

Violence is still rated the same. I don't see where you get this idea that it's any better to have more violence and less "smoking" in a film? It seems your view point on what exactly is the issue here, let alone which companies/orginzations are actually involved in this matter is skewed. Do you still not get what the MPAA rating is?

It's a freak'n suggested guide to a film. You don't have to listen, you don't have to care. Studio's don't have to listen OR care. They might want to make changes based off the suggestions if they were shooting for that certain rating, but they certainly don't have to. Then again, as stated, if you are of legal age to buy Rated R tickets then I see no point why it would matter. Not to mention that these set of standards, rules and regulations that the MPAA judges a film on aren't just pulled out of their ass and made up on the spot. It's a set of standards that the majority have imposed on themselves to protect them from.. themselves. I would assume that if you are a parent you might want to find out what the content of the films your kids are watching so for that simple reason the MPAA is worth being there. It's not sheltering you. It's simply acting as your tour guide.

Clear Channel.. jesus man, where the hell did that come from? seriously. "God damn NAFTA! Stop screwing my theater going experience!"


Now for some kid friendly art...


Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-27-04 at 04:07 AM.
Old 02-27-04, 05:18 AM
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Some responses after reading this thread:

First, even if smoking warranted an automatic R, we would not have to go and rerate all films from before this time with an R. Films only get rerated when they are resubmitted to the MPAA for some reason. Usually the reason is to get a rating that didn't exist before. For example, Jaws used to be PG. After PG-13 came out, Universal had it rerated to PG-13, which is sensible. Or a more extreme example is for the 25th anniversary of Pink Flamingos, New Line rereleased the film, and resubmitted it to get an NC-17 rating. Another reason for resubmission would be because standards have relaxed. A good example would be Midnight Cowboy, initially an X film. In fact, when the MPAA dropped the X rating, all X films were either resubmitted for an R or became unrated (I don't know the exact details on that). So don't go worrying that Casablanca will suddenly have an R rating.

To Jack:

1. As jaufraser said, movies aren't the same thing as a billboard. One is an explicit advertisement, the other is a movie. It may be entertainment or it may be art, but it's doing more than selling cigarettes. Even if product placement occurs, it's not the focus of the film. Of course, if a studio wanted to avoid such problems at all, they should just make up a brand of cigarettes (Red Apple, anyone?).

2. You make the MPAA sound so benign. Studios generally tell the director what rating their film will be before the film is even greenlit. In order to get it within that rating, the director has to bow to every demand the MPAA makes, if they make a fuss. I remember Clive Barker saying that the MPAA told him he could only have three thrusts in the sex scene flashback in Hellraiser. They can get that nitpicky, and sometimes they want a lot more than just one thrust removed. Again, if the director is bound to a certain rating, the MPAA can drastically change a film. Also, you say studios can either go for an NC-17 or not even submit a film for rating. Well, no studio releases unrated films (some subsidiaries MAY release unrated documentaries or distribute unrated indie films). The whole reason the MPAA exists is so the government doesn't step in and start regulating content. So, of course every major studio is going to have their films rated. As for NC-17, well, most studios consider it a kiss of death. It basically kills the possibility of the largest demographic in America seeing the film, a lot of theaters won't show the film in the first place, and some newspapers and TV station won't even allow advertising for NC-17 films. Ratings should be advisory warnings and nothing more. The MPAA has too much power. It should be up to parents to tell their kids what they can and can't see. That doesn't mean they should pre-screen every movie. They should be able to use the MPAA advisory warnings to determine what films are alright for their children. It shouldn't be regulated on a higher level than the parent.

3. Do you honestly believe those Marlboro packs in MIB II will sell kids on it? What message are they sending to kids? Those shots practically scream "Smoke our cigarettes and your lungs will look uglier than these aliens."

Last edited by Supermallet; 02-27-04 at 05:20 AM.
Old 02-27-04, 08:54 AM
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In this day and age smoking should me reduced as much as possible. Speaking as someone who still has the occasional smoke when i drink (quit 2 years ago) it depends on the movie.The original Ocean's 11 made me sick the was so much smoking. Then a movie like Man who wan't there - it's to be expected. But then you get movie that are questionable like Ghosbuters. In 1983/84 it was ok to have it in. Then in the sequel there was no smoking(i think). It would be crazy for the MPAA to make smoking movies R rated but then again i wouldn't shocked. I mean for movies to be R rated in my province it has to have everything(drug. violence etc...)like Pulp Fiction.
Old 02-27-04, 09:29 AM
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Old 02-27-04, 09:29 AM
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Originally posted by Suprmallet
Some responses after reading this thread:

First, even if smoking warranted an automatic R, we would not have to go and rerate all films from before this time with an R. Films only get rerated when they are resubmitted to the MPAA for some reason. Usually the reason is to get a rating that didn't exist before. For example, Jaws used to be PG. After PG-13 came out, Universal had it rerated to PG-13, which is sensible. Or a more extreme example is for the 25th anniversary of Pink Flamingos, New Line rereleased the film, and resubmitted it to get an NC-17 rating. Another reason for resubmission would be because standards have relaxed. A good example would be Midnight Cowboy, initially an X film. In fact, when the MPAA dropped the X rating, all X films were either resubmitted for an R or became unrated (I don't know the exact details on that). So don't go worrying that Casablanca will suddenly have an R rating.

To Jack:

1. As jaufraser said, movies aren't the same thing as a billboard. One is an explicit advertisement, the other is a movie. It may be entertainment or it may be art, but it's doing more than selling cigarettes. Even if product placement occurs, it's not the focus of the film. Of course, if a studio wanted to avoid such problems at all, they should just make up a brand of cigarettes (Red Apple, anyone?).

2. You make the MPAA sound so benign. Studios generally tell the director what rating their film will be before the film is even greenlit. In order to get it within that rating, the director has to bow to every demand the MPAA makes, if they make a fuss. I remember Clive Barker saying that the MPAA told him he could only have three thrusts in the sex scene flashback in Hellraiser. They can get that nitpicky, and sometimes they want a lot more than just one thrust removed. Again, if the director is bound to a certain rating, the MPAA can drastically change a film. Also, you say studios can either go for an NC-17 or not even submit a film for rating. Well, no studio releases unrated films (some subsidiaries MAY release unrated documentaries or distribute unrated indie films). The whole reason the MPAA exists is so the government doesn't step in and start regulating content. So, of course every major studio is going to have their films rated. As for NC-17, well, most studios consider it a kiss of death. It basically kills the possibility of the largest demographic in America seeing the film, a lot of theaters won't show the film in the first place, and some newspapers and TV station won't even allow advertising for NC-17 films. Ratings should be advisory warnings and nothing more. The MPAA has too much power. It should be up to parents to tell their kids what they can and can't see. That doesn't mean they should pre-screen every movie. They should be able to use the MPAA advisory warnings to determine what films are alright for their children. It shouldn't be regulated on a higher level than the parent.

3. Do you honestly believe those Marlboro packs in MIB II will sell kids on it? What message are they sending to kids? Those shots practically scream "Smoke our cigarettes and your lungs will look uglier than these aliens."
in terms of re-rating films, as I understand it, a film can be resubmitted for a new rating, only if new footage or footage is taken out. According to the MPAA's rating database website, Jaws has never been resubmitted, rerated to a PG-13.

The MPAA never officialy registered the 'X-rating'. That's why the adult video industry pretty much stamped it all over thier films. Only when the NC-17 rating was instigated did a number of distributor's /studios resubmit thier films with the MPAA rating. (i.e Pink Flamingos ) Midnight Cowboy, The Devils, A Clockwork Orange, are but a few examples of films that were presented with X-ratings for thier initial theatrical runs, only to be resubmitted and rerated. 'Orange' and 'The Devils' unfortunately suffered trims for the sake of their R-ratings.

In terms of "Hellraiser" the scenes that got trimmed for the sake of it's R-rating was the hammer murder and the head pull (seen it's original full blown gory version in the unrated cut of 'Hellbound').

You cited 'Casablanca' as an example of an older film with smoking that if resubmitted for a rating would qualify as an R, there would be a vast number of films that fall under the same ludicrous rules, "All About Eve" comes to mind. I have stated this before, but I find this type of social tagging and restrictions to be out of control.
Old 02-27-04, 03:00 PM
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1. As jaufraser said, movies aren't the same thing as a billboard. One is an explicit advertisement, the other is a movie. It may be entertainment or it may be art, but it's doing more than selling cigarettes. Even if product placement occurs, it's not the focus of the film. Of course, if a studio wanted to avoid such problems at all, they should just make up a brand of cigarettes (Red Apple, anyone?).
Yeah, but you see, when you don't notice the product placement then the product placement worked well. It's not about having the camera zoom in and have the character pause real quick to give a 30 second speech about how smooth and relaxing they are. It's about having the product on screen represented as a product that the character takes part of. Films have to ask for premission to use the said product. Dawn of the Dead (remake) could not use Star Bucks in it's mall so of course they pulled the ol' make up your own name.

if the director is bound to a certain rating, the MPAA can drastically change a film.
No, the MPAA is just a system that was installed. At that point of of the example the Studio has drastically changed the film by limiting what rating it wanted to recieve.

Ratings should be advisory warnings and nothing more. The MPAA has too much power. It should be up to parents to tell their kids what they can and can't see. That doesn't mean they should pre-screen every movie. They should be able to use the MPAA advisory warnings to determine what films are alright for their children. It shouldn't be regulated on a higher level than the parent.
Now you are speaking of something I somewhat agree with you on. Parents should infact be the ones that figure out what there kids should see but the problem comes down to how will the parent know? The MPAA as an advisory is indeed a good idea and that's what they are now. People act like the MPAA is some sort of evil giant who is just destroying creativity. Why do you think I rolled my eyes when clear channel was brought up with them? It's rather silly to put the two in the same boat. They are just telling you what a film is rated for the sake of upholding a ratings scale.

There needs to be some sort of guideline in there that tells the parents what is the content of the film and a general rating of what they might watch and the MPAA is there. If a film is being changed or resubmitted to get a better rating then that is the choice of the studio.

As for the smoking aliens. Did Joe Camel represent what you would look like after smoking a good pack? No. The beef with it is that it's those cool little party animal aliens. Wanna be hip? Lounge around and smoke away laughing and having a good time. Perhaps thats a stretch, eh. As for Casblanca, I already stated that it would be all about the context of smoking. Much like you can show a womans tit on screen and still get away with a PG-13, I'm not saying that smoking automaticlly makes it an R, I'm saying that it should be a factor in it and that it should be noted in the advisory notes.
Old 02-27-04, 07:29 PM
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The very idea that young adults can't see an actor smoking without inevitably turning into smokers themselves is absurd and condescending. These aren't sheep, after all -- and it's not like the other anti-smoking information they've had drummed into their heads will magically disappear just because a projector is involved...

Just another example of splinter groups -- in this case, the militant anti-smoking lobby -- foisting their totalitarian agenda on a portion of the population not yet old enough to fight back legally. Which means that these teens will be kept out of R rated movies because an actor is smoking on screen, giving them more time to hang out in the mall parking lot chainsmoking packs of menthols...
Old 02-27-04, 07:54 PM
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But if movies with cigarettes become R-Rated and these kids would have to obtain the cigarettes through nefarious practices, wouldn't these kids be just as likely to sneak into R-Rated movies and see the cigarettes on screen anyway? I still don't get why people smoke. I've tried it, doesn't do anything for me. Chewing on a pen is much more fun and doesn't give you cancer unless you swallow alot of ink.
Old 02-27-04, 07:58 PM
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Exactly. So why waste the time with the new rating then...? Kids will find a way. Face it: a rule like this would be more about the sanctimony of the sponsors than it would be about actual behavior modification. It's overlitigating a non-problem.
Old 02-28-04, 12:19 AM
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Kids will find a way? You make it seem as if once a kid turns 13 they are fiending for a smoke badly enough. The purpose of this is to get rid of the cool image of smoking in a film that is not rated accordingly.

Taking into account other factors such as peer pressure and rebelliousness, it was calculated that children were three times more likely to take up the habit if they were in the group who watched the highest amount of screen smoking.
I provided the damn article, the damn statistics and the damn proof. Is there outside factors? YES! it would be stupid of me to say that there is not other factors. I am not saying that. I am simply saying what the studies and research has shown. Lets put it this way. You see an actor on screen wear a certain brand of sunglasses and you think, "Hey, those are some cool sun glasses". Are you going to go right out and buy them? No, I'm sure you aren't. But when you are in the market for some bitchin' shades will your mind start to think of that brand and wont it factor in? That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

It's not a curse or a plauge, it's a study. Call it some bullshit, there is some research there and in the end what I'm saying is NOT TO AUTOMATICLLY stamp an R rating if an actor is smoking, but to take that into consideration when the film is actually rated. Did you not read anything I have posted here? Did you just jump into the thread and read the title and said to yourself "Gee, the very idea makes me sick, forget trying to look at both sides of the arguement! F$#$ YOU MPAA,RIAA, CLEAR CHANNEL and who ever the hell else job it is to make me not enjoy my movie going experience?"

If the films become R rated they will not go fiending for them. It's not like there is any sort of blood lust going on here. This is a simple matter of warning about something when a warning is figured to be put on it. It's not like they are going to say to themselves "Hey, I hear this movie has smoking in it, lets sneak in. Oh, don't forget that booze we stole from my dad and the pack of condoms so we can take part of pre-marital acts of passion" No. Do you know why? Cause chances are they wont even have the Sex Ed enough to bring condoms... no wait, that can't be the right arguement.. Oh yeah, No, that wont be the case simply because by providing a better rating system and including this in the list of shit that is put on the rating system Parents will know what the hell to teach them or talk to them about. I'm suggesting to put the Smoking comment in the rating for the simple matter to bring awareness to what the hell their kids are watching.

Why waste the time with a new rating then? Well because smoking has been progressing into a stage were it's been found that the companies are marketing towards kids. Why? because that is future customers. If we stopped tobacco companies from marketing to childern then why is there still plenty of product placement in films? Why is there a sense of coolness to the whole smoking in films in many cases?

As the articles I posted and linked above show, it's not a non-problem. It might not be the front page news, but it's something that you should be aware about.

Chewing on a pen is much more fun and doesn't give you cancer unless you swallow alot of ink
Yes, but the Philip Morris doesn't sell pins. I'll get back to you when Sharpie and Bic start marketing there hazardious pens to kids in films. We can then rate films R for Language, Nudity, and imporper pin use.

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-28-04 at 12:22 AM.
Old 02-28-04, 01:07 AM
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That whole rant made no sense to me. Really. None.

Yes, I read the posts previous to my own. And they didn't change my opinion at all. Personally, I'm skeptical of studies provided by special interest sites with names like www.smokefreemovies -- but even should their findings prove mostly legit, I'd still be against this push to tighten ratings. Because I believe that the quickest way to make something "cool" to a kid is to try overzealously to "protect" him/her from it by pre-emptively preventing the [passive] encounter.

We'll have to agree to disagree on this -- but personally, I'd hate to see an artist edit out a potentially rich character trait, say, just so his or her screenplay might prove more financially viable to a studio bowing to pressures from nanny groups armed with junk science and self-righteous indignation.

Last edited by celluloidwisdom; 02-28-04 at 01:50 AM.
Old 02-28-04, 01:58 AM
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Thanks, by this point I don't care if I make sense or not.(Which by now should already be a known thing) I already presented the material that was being bitched at me to present. the studies, the research, etc. If you think it's all shit, fine. But don't say I didn't provided some proof. Even if it's from a group that's a bit extreme, the studies are there and come from all different sources that aren't all related to the sites extreme views.

Now can you present some studies that show that marketing to kids doesn't increase smoking in those age groups? I provided plenty for my case and even took a ton of shit in the time I spent to provide it so where is your proof? where is what I asked? It's not here. Can you honestly prove to me that Parents don't care about tobacco being marketed to their kids? That by showing it in a film in a light that highlights or makes it appealing doesn't influence childern in any way, shape or form? No.

It's not about artist editing out content. If you followed what I said in my huge post I did make it clear that by providing a more clear advisory then it would bring more awareness to why a film is rated the way it is, and in doing so would get parents to more willingly take their kids to see said film. In this process it would allow rated R films to actually move away from that idea that it would make more being PG-13. Mom reads that the content is rated R for whatever reason and smoking and they might very well see it as not a big issue.

again, it would be about context in which the character is smoking and I'm taking the stance that it is not a "Smoking = automatic R rating". Good ol' BBC with their Junk Science.. good ol' Bollywood with it's junk movements

Last edited by Jackskeleton; 02-28-04 at 02:05 AM.
Old 02-28-04, 02:41 AM
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Originally posted by Jackskeleton
Now can you present some studies that show that marketing to kids doesn't increase smoking in those age groups? I provided plenty for my case and even took a ton of shit in the time I spent to provide it so where is your proof?
Why should I provide any such thing when I don't consider a character's smoking to be an act of "marketing" to kids? Besides, what to make of the host of unsavory characters who smoke in movies? By the logic you keep pushing here, excessive exposure to those low-life characters who routinely smoke would actually prevent kids from smoking...

Look, 200+ years ago, Samuel Johnson -- writing with regard to literary themes and the characters espousing them -- made arguments similar to yours: He was averse to authors presenting unsavory traits through compelling characters for fear of teaching the readers the "wrong" lessons. And he, too, was wrong -- as a catalogue of wonderful antiheroes has since taught us. And remember: it was the kids who grew up on "Leave It to Beaver" who wound up dancing naked in the mud at Woodstock, zoomed out on acid, their private areas sore from casual gropings.

Again, we'll have to agree to disagree. But this thread asked if smoking on film should garner a release an R rating, and my answer is a resounding no. I happen to think people aren't as easily manipulated by product placements as you seem to believe they are, and I absolutely hate when the nanny state presumes to intrude on my freedoms for what IT assumes in my own good.

Last edited by celluloidwisdom; 02-28-04 at 02:44 AM.
Old 02-28-04, 03:39 PM
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Why should I provide any such thing when I don't consider a character's smoking to be an act of "marketing" to kids?
Because it's a discussion. I recieved a lot of shit for not providing any sort of proof that any of what I was standing by was true. Why should the other side be any different? I provided stats that support my view point. Where is yours? You state I am wrong but you aren't providing shit. as someone told me above. Stop shoving your view onto me without proof. The fact that the kids grew up to leave it to beaver doesn't mean that other factors couldn't have come into place. You are twisting or not even listening to what I said. I didn't say that once a kid watches smoking in the media they are cursed/plauged/damned forever. It is plenty of other outside factors. But why add to a list? Just because someone is going to die, doesn't mean you have to slowly kill them some more. If you aren't helping then atleast stop hurting.

Agree to disagree? Yes. But I made my point, I supplied my evidence to back up my statements. Just because you provide only your views doesn't mean it's correct.
"The earth is flat, Who cares what research you recieved from theEarthisRound.com, We'll agree to disagree.. But you're wrong!"

You absolutely hate when nanny states screw up your movies? Well look, it takes two to tango. A studio could gladly release a film regardless of the shit talk going on. Infact I would say that the shit talk would really help it. There isn't any such thing as bad Press. Besides, this isn't a destruction of your freedoms. You will still be able to see the film. Are you under the age that you can't view a film without mommy? If you aren't then I don't see how putting smoking in the group of words/actions that would create an R rating will change a film. By just having one character not saying SHIT or [email protected]#[email protected] does it really change a film? Will it destroy the creative vision? If anything I would assume that it would add a little more creative challanege to place in something else if they really don't want to add to the list of creating a film that is R rated.

As for the exposure of those low life characters preventing smoking. Exactly. I've said this before and a couple of different times. IT'S ABOUT CONTEXT! If you have the non-influential character smoking fine. It's not doing what I'm talking about. It's not highlighting or putting smoking in a good light. People are easily manipulated, especially in a younger age. Why do you think the younger brother usually wants to be like his bigger slibbling? Childern at that age are indeed easily influenced and impressionable.

Agree to Disagree? If you aren't going to provide anything besides your personal views to back up your statements perhaps you should just step away from thread. I'm not going to change my views and I see myself as not taking the extremes that the site is so I'm doing my best to see this on a balanced level.
Old 02-28-04, 03:56 PM
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A 0 tolerance rating system is just bad. Should all violence be rated R, should all insubordination be rated R, should every instance of a kid sticking out his tongue behind an adult's back be rated R? Who the **** knows or cares, but we should give all kids ID cards that say what content they are allowed to see in movies and without the ID cards they can't get into movies, even if with adults. It's perfect, so no child with an ID card that says no smoking can ever get into a movie with smoking in it!!!!

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