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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.

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