Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Should Movie Smoking Be Banned?

What do we get when the Harvard School of Public Health says depictions of smoking should be banned from movies, a healthier populace or artistic censorship? Joel Stein sounds off:
Even amid the teenage consumption of coverage of Paris and Lindsay and Britney's partying, getting rid of smoking in movies might have some effect in signaling that smoking is socially unacceptable. But even if Leonardo DiCaprio's chain smoking in "Blood Diamond" causes kids to try cigarettes, that's the price of liberty. Art is empty propaganda if it just shows the world as we want it to be. The Harvard report states that "most smoking in movies is both unnecessary and cliched." But most everything in movies is unnecessary and cliched.
An ad by the group Smoke Free Movies suggests that "each month that passes without a studio consensus of the R-rating costs 5,000 tobacco deaths, in the US alone."

To this I have one word to say: baloney.


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