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The depiction of smoking in American films has changed drastically in recent years. While there are classic for all ages filled with characters lighting up a cigarette or cigar, pressures extending from public heath concerns and accusations of glamorizing the practice have forced Hollywood to change its ways in the last decade. This was primarily accomplished through the actions of the MPAA, which started to take smoking into consideration when rating movies in 2007.
“Both film and television continue to expose children and adolescents to tobacco content conclusively proven to cause physical harm to young viewers,” write the Senators in their letters. “Indeed, the recent survey of tobacco content in the streaming series most popular among young viewers suggests that smoking levels in TV-MA rated shows are comparable to R-rated films and the levels in the TV-14 shows are comparable to PG-13 films.”
The companies' replies: