Should movies receive an R-rating for having smoking scenes?

Extreme?  Perhaps not.

Over at Better Health, Jonathan Foulds at first dismisses the somewhat radical suggestion that all movies that include smoking scenes should be slapped with an R-rating.

But after thinking about it, he realizes it’s not as extreme as it appears.

He cites the work of anti-smoking crusader Stan Glantz, who reasons that, “movies made to be viewed by kids do not need to include smoking, and therefore should be given an R rating if they do, just as they are if they depict illicit drug use. . . . Of course the movie industry is very clear that a large part of its audience is kids and particularly teens. The net effect of the rating changes Professor Glantz is recommending would be that gratuitous smoking will be taken out of many movies and particularly those aimed at kids.”

Children are influenced by what they see in the movies. If we can prevent a few kids from taking up smoking by reducing the number of smoking scenes in movies and on television, I’m all for it.

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