National stage

1 National health groups do more than endorse | From the beginning of the Smokefree Movies campaign, public health and professional medical organizations have helped develop solutions, intervened with the film industry, sponsored sessions on the latest research, contacted policy makers, signed public statements, and helped educate and mobilize their large memberships. 

2 Shareholders confront studios' parent companies | Socially-responsible shareholders have won gains on a wide range of social and environmental issues. For the past decade, led by As You Sow and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, they have also asked media company CEOs tough questions about on-screen smoking at annual meetings, drafted shareholder resolutions, educated pension funds and other investors about the reputational and financial risks that smoking poses to media companies, and emphasized the forward-looking, non-punitive nature of Smokefree Movies' policy solutions. 

3 People are questioning America's tax incentives for movies with smoking | Large media companies benefit from state film subsidies, but they also receive federal tax favors for media production and government backing on export and trade issues. Of course, it's the taxpayer who pays much of the medical bill when Hollywood movies recruit new young smokers. Every tax dollar for a movie with smoking costs the country even more.

4 The research is conclusive and solutions are ready | In report after report, the US Surgeon General and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention make it crystal clear (see sidebar). The US film industry must eliminate smoking from the moves that kids see most — starting today, not tomorrow. The government need not regulate content. But it can continue to press the film industry to implement a single standard — the R-rating — to save a million lives. It should continue to monitor the media companies closely for the American people to see.

What the country says

Key reports about on-screen smoking from the US Department of Health and Human Services