The Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) recently released materials presented to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) in a scientific briefing on the impact of youth smoking and the behavioral influence of films that depict tobacco use. The presentations (requested by the MPAA) were held in February in Los Angeles.
The presentations (accessible at http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/mpaa/) lay the foundation for the recommendation of HSPH Dean Barry R. Bloom that the MPAA take “substantive and effective action to eliminate the depiction of tobacco smoking from films accessible to children and youths.”
“We appreciate that movies are expensive, complex, and demanding to make,” Bloom told the gathering. But actors smoking in movies, he said, “serve to make smoking socially acceptable to kids.” Bloom called on the MPAA to “take clear and effective action” to eliminate the depiction of tobacco use in films accessible to youths and for industry leadership to send a publicly accountable message to its members.