Mumbai: The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) announced that the six major studios would include anti-smoking public service announcements produced by the California Health and Human Services Agency on millions of youth-rated DVDs of motion pictures that include scenes with tobacco use.
Through this campaign, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. will place California’s anti-smoking public service announcements in the opening minutes of DVDs of all new movies with tobacco use that are rated G, PG and PG-13.
"This is a strong and responsible step on the part of the entertainment industry that will go a long way toward countering the influence of tobacco use in films," said California Health and Human Services secretary Kim Belshe. "With this agreement, we will be able to promote the benefits of living tobacco-free to millions of viewers at no cost to taxpayers, while encouraging important conversations between parents and their children about the dangers of smoking."
EIF, which has focused for several years on combating the negative effects of "glamorized" smoking in films, brought the State of California and the Hollywood studios together and handled the production details to make this first-of-its-kind initiative a reality.
"The State of California is a great partner, having produced some of the most successful anti-smoking public service announcements. California’s Tobacco Control Program PSAs have helped the state achieve some of the lowest adult and teen smoking rates in the country," said EIF president and CEO Lisa Paulsen. "We’re proud to have played a role in bringing the state and all the studios together."
The public service announcements will appear before the films on each DVD and can currently be seen online at http://www.TobaccoFreeCA.com.
Through its initiative called Hollywood Unfiltered, EIF is committed to working from within the entertainment industry to reduce tobacco’s negative consequences by educating members about the impact smoking has on young people and the steps they can take to make a difference. Partners in this effort include the Motion Picture Association of America, Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, Directors Guild of America, International Alliance for Theatrical Stage Employees, Screen Actors Guild and Writers Guild of America.
"The Motion Picture Association of America and all six of its member companies, including Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Warner Bros. have demonstrated their collective commitment to working in partnership with organizations like the EIF to educate our own industry about the negative effects of smoking," said MPAA chairman and CEO Dan Glickman.
"The decisions by all six major movie studios to put anti-smoking PSAs on their DVDs, coupled with the MPAA’s recent decision to incorporate smoking into the rating system, demonstrate that the industry is committed to informing parents about smoking depictions in films so they can make informed decisions for their children," he further added.
Additionally, EIF and the Motion Picture & Television Fund (MPTF), with support from the Motion Picture Industry Pension & Health Plan, operate the first ever industry-led smoking cessation program. Called Picture Quitting, this program combines free counselling with low-cost medication for people in the entertainment industry who want to quit smoking. The success rate of this custom-tailored quit smoking program is twice that of the national average (American Journal of Health Behaviour).