Liverpool, England - plans for 18 certificates for smoking films shown in Liverpool suffer setback..

Liverpool City Council Coat-of-Arms..
December 3, 2009 - Plans to slap 18 certificates on films which show smoking scenes at city cinemas suffered a setback. Liverpool council’s licensing committee yesterday recommended councillors reject the bid for stricter ratings for movies which include tobacco. They will meet on December 9 to have the final say on whether Liverpool will become the first city in the country (England) to enforce the ban.

Cllr Malcolm Kelly, who chaired the meeting, said: “We have to look at whether there are good local reasons to impose 18 certificates. “Research was done in the USA and transposed to reflect a percentage of young people in Liverpool. “I believe if this policy is introduced here, it would cause young people to move outside of Liverpool to watch the film or wait until it came out on DVD. That would have an impact on the cinema industry in Liverpool.” A consultation on the issue took place in Liverpool from July to October.

Youth organisation D-MYST collected 11,000 postcards of support for the campaign.

Speaking outside the meeting, Gideon Ben-Tovim, chairman of Liverpool PCT, said: “Backing from a major film-maker and one of the world’s leading academics strengthens a compelling case. “Smoking among young people in Liverpool is very high, with enormous implications for their health. “Using local powers to rate movies with smoking in them would be a major step forward for public health.”

Film-maker John Kirby added: “Liverpool has never been afraid of taking a lead. “I hoped councillors would take the lead on smoking in movies. This would start an unstoppable process and change the way movie-makers operate. We have read the research and believe there is no doubt smoking in films does influence young people to start the habit.”

Reference: Plans for 18 certificates for smoking films shown in Liverpool suffer setback by Tina Miles, Liverpool Echo, 11/28/2009.