Shining a spotlight on Film Tax Credits, Big Tobacco & Marketing to Youth

Given that it is National Non-Smoking Week, and with the current spotlight on film tax credits in BC, it’s a good time to talk about tobacco marketing in movies.

Blocked from other advertising channels, Big Tobacco has turned to movies to sell youth on a glamourized, rebellious image of smoking.

The US Surgeon General in 2012 stated that smoking in movies causes kids to smoke. Studies show that with more exposure to on-screen smoking the more likely kids will become smokers.
Every dollar in taxpayer funding that goes towards film productions containing tobacco imagery costs us $1.70 in tobacco‐related medical care and productivity losses.

A change in film subsidy rules that would exclude movies with tobacco imagery from public funding is a way to limit tobacco marketing to youth. Other proven policies include shifting ratings so that movies with smoking are given an adult ‘R’ and banning tobacco brands in film.
As well as the BC Alliance for Healthy Living, the World Health Organization, Attorney General in Washington State and health groups in California, Europe and even Ontario, are promoting these changes.

We support investing in a healthy film industry in BC, not one that recruits new young smokers.

Scott McDonald, Chair, BC Alliance for Healthy Living & CEO, BC Lung Association
Mary Collins, Director, BC Alliance for Healthy Living

January 24, 2013

If you want learn more about smoking in movies and what else can be done to prevent youth from smoking – please join us and tobacco expert, Jonathan Polansky in our upcoming webinar: Beyond the Tobacco War – What’s Next in Prevention & Protection? on Wednesday January 30th at 9am.

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