Medusa pics to stub out smokes


LOCARNO, Switzerland -- Films made by Italian media company Medusa could soon become smoke-free zones, if the company's new president, Carlo Rossella, has his way.

Rossella took the reins at Medusa as part of a management shake-up that saw the company taken under the Mediaset umbrella, the broadcaster owned by media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi.

Rossella, a former director of the "TG5" news program on Mediaset, said he wants to remove smoking from films Medusa makes as a way of educating young people not to pick up the habit.

Smoking in public places was outlawed in Italy in 2005.

Before the measure can go into effect, it must be approved by Medusa's board.

Last week, the Walt Disney Co. announced that its Disney-branded films will be smoke-free going forward (HR 7/26).