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Feb-27---Help-Oscar-Quit

The 90th Academy Awards (Oscars) are just around the corner and the Grey Bruce Health Unit wants to highlight the negative impact of movies that contain smoking. February 25 to March 4 is International Week of Action, an annual event leading up to the Oscars aiming to prevent smoking in youth-rated movies. This year, of the 22 films nominated in a major category, 19 contain scenes with smoking.

According to the World Health Organization, movies showing use of tobacco have enticed millions of youth worldwide to start smoking. The Ontario Tobacco Research Unit estimates that at least 185,000 children and youth will start smoking from exposure to onscreen smoking. The Smoke-Free Movies initiative would require an 18A rating on any new films screened in Ontario that show smoking.

"Considering the toll tobacco has taken, there is still an inexcusable amount of tobacco use showing up in movies." says Brooke Tomsett, Youth Advisor, with the Tobacco Prevention Program. "Smoking in the movies kills in real life, but we really never see any of the negative effects of this addictive drug onscreen. If all of these nominated movies had shown frequent use of cocaine or another illicit drug in youth rated movies, we would be outraged. Smoking should not be made to look glamourous - it's time to push back against Hollywood and help Oscar quit!"

In Grey Bruce, 1 out of every 5 people are current smokers. Lung cancer is the most common type of cancer, responsible for more deaths than any other type of cancer, about 110 per year in Grey Bruce.

"While there are many reasons that children begin smoking, evidence shows that the more kids see smoking on screen, the more likely they are to start." adds Tomsett. "The solution is simple. Change movie ratings to prevent children from seeing smoking in movies and we can save lives."

We need to work together as a community to prevent a new generation from getting hooked on tobacco. Parents, guardians and grandparents are encouraged to learn more and take action by visiting www.smokefreemovies.ca. The site includes a movie rating page, the evidence section and how to protect children and youth.

source: media release, Public Health

 

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