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March 16, 2011 - If you're a parent looking for a movie that will tempt your kids to smoke, Paramount Pictures has just the film for you. It's called Rango, the story of an adventure-seekingchameleon, voiced by Johnny Depp, who patrols a desert town where he meets a cigar-smoking toad and a foxy fox, who uses one of those long, sultry cigarette holders made famous in 1940s movies.
Back then, Bogie made smoking cool. But everyone has known for 50 years that smoking is better at filling coffins than theaters. So who needs it in an animated film aimed at children?
Teen Smoking Strongly Linked to Tobacco Use in Movies, National Cancer Institute, 12/1/2001.
Certainly not the American Academy of Pediatrics, which has labeled the film a health hazard for children, prompting Paramount to say that "the images of smoking in the film ... are portrayed by supporting characters and are not intended to be intended to be celebrated or emulated."
Millions of kids helped make Rango the No. 2 box-office draw last weekend, and research going back a decade shows that adolescents with higher exposure to movie smoking are much more likely to try cigarettes than their peers.
The studies, particularly a series done at Dartmouth Medical School, suggest that after adolescents see smoking scenes they view tobacco use more positively and think most adults smoke. (That, of course, is fiction: Smoking among U.S. adults has fallen to about 20%.) Nor do films show another reality of smoking — the illness and death it causes.
PAPER: heavy teen viewing of TV shows with depiction of tobacco use..
Reference: Smoky 'Rango' leaves bad taste, usatoday.com, 3/16/2011.
Some related news briefs:
Studios reached an agreement yesterday to place anti-smoking ads on new movie DVDs (rated G, PG or PG-13)..;
Hallmark Channel will follow Disney's lead...;
Disney stubs out smoking from its films...;
Smoking to influence movie classifications.....