Ontario Doctors Tell Hollywood To Butt Out

A provincial coalition of health care professionals points to public support for removing smoking and tobacco product placement from youth-rated Hollywood movies that screen here.

TORONTO: Ontario doctors are telling Hollywood directors to put out that cigarette.

The Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies, representing health care professionals, on Tuesday released a public opinion poll indicating 73% of Ontarians support getting smoking and tobacco product placement out of youth-rated movies because glamorous Hollywood stars are role models.

"When Vince Vaughn or Keira Knightly smoke, it influences youth to do the same," Jordan Alexander, a coalition spokesman, said.

The March 2011 survey by Ipsos Reid of 812 Ontario adults asked whether smoking should be banned in movies rated G, PG or 14A.

Around 45% of respondents strongly supported stamping out smoking in movies  young people view, while 27% were somewhat or strongly opposed to such a move.

The lobby campaign has been launched in part because Canadian film censors are more likely give youth ratings to Hollywood movies than American authorities, according to the coaltion.

For example, the Ontario Film Review Board in the second half of 2010 gave youth ratings to 90 per cent of top-grossing films, against just 69 per cent of films that received the same ratings from the Motion Picture Association of America.

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