Skip to content

    Smoking Cessation Health Center

    Font Size

    Smoking to Sway Movie Ratings

    Movie Ratings System Will Now Consider On-Screen Smoking
    WebMD Health News
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    May 11, 2007 -- Movie ratings will now be partly based on smoking shown on the silver screen.

    The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) says it will consider on-screen smoking in its movie ratings system.

    Movies that "glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of an historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating," states an MPAA news release dated May 10.

    The news release includes a statement from MPAA chair and CEO Dan Glickman.

    "There is broad awareness of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine's highly addictive nature, and no parent wants their child to take up the habit," states Glickman.

    By including smoking in the movie ratings system, parents will get more information about movie content, Glickman notes.

    However, on-screen smoking won't require an "R" rating. Instead, smoking will be one of several factors -- including violence, sexual situations, and language -- that determine movie ratings.

    Three out of every four films that contained "any smoking at all" over the past few years are already rated 'R' for other reasons, says Glickman.

    Today on WebMD

    hands breaking a cigarette
    Is quitting cold turkey an effective method?
    14 tips to get you through the first hard days.
    smoking man
    Surprising impacts of tobacco on the body.
    cigarette smoke
    What happens when you kick the habit?

    Filtered cigarettes
    an array of e cigarettes
    human heart
    Woman experiencing withdrawal symptoms

    man smoking cigarette
    no smoking sign
    Woman ashing cigarette in ashtray
    chain watch