MUMBAI: The Walt Disney Company made a commitment to US Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, that it will discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in its films and will place an anti-smoking PSA on DVDs of any future film that does depict smoking.
Further, Disney will work with theater owners to encourage the exhibition of an anti-smoking PSA before the theatrical exhibition of any such film.
In a letter sent to Representative Markey, Disney president and CEO Robert A Iger said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Walt Disney Company shares your concern regarding deaths due to cigarette smoking. We discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in Disney, Touchstone and Miramax films. In particular, we expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney branded films will be non-existent. In response to your suggestion, our company will place an anti-smoking PSA on DVDs of any future film that does depict cigarette smoking.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“DisneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s decision to take a stand against smoking is groundbreaking and I commend CEO Bob Iger for this important commitment. Now itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s time for other media companies to similarly kick the habit and follow DisneyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lead,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Representative Markey.
According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking has been identified as the most important source of preventable morbidity and premature mortality worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim an estimated 438,000 American lives each year and approximately 90 percent of smokers begin smoking before the age of 21.