Youth Prevention


PG-rated 'Rango' has antismoking advocates fuming
Antismoking advocates are warning that the PG-rated film Rango, should be rated “R” due to the numerous depictions of smoking in the movie, which may influence youth to smoke. The film includes about sixty instances of characters smoking. The filmmakers say that the title character never smokes and that characters who do smoke were not designed to be role models. In addition, Paramount has increased the number of tobacco-free films produced by 25% since 2007. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which determines the ratings for films, say that about 75% of films depicting smoking were rated R since 2007, but the rating system is not designed to be a dedicated system to reduce depictions of smoking in movies. Click here for more information. Related: Legacy teams up with Daryl Hannah to engage film students in socially responsible filmmaking Featuring the actress and activist Daryl Hannah as a narrator, Legacy has developed a six-minute documentary on smoking in the movies for film students entitled, Redefining Cool. The short film explores how movies normalize smoking and how onscreen smoking imagery influences young people to use tobacco. The film asks aspiring filmmakers to think twice before using cigarettes as props in film. Redefining Cool can be found on the Legacy Facebook page.

New campaign from Legacy: There's no sugarcoating tobacco-related disease
Legacy has announced the launch of a new anti-tobacco campaign run by truth®, "Unsweetened truth," which highlights the negative health effects of tobacco use as well as the tobacco industry’s use of sweet flavorings to enhance tobacco products. The campaign features a thirty-second advertisement in which individuals who have tobacco-related physical disabilities ride a parade float and sing about candy-flavored tobacco products. The advertisement will be played in movie theatres before select films targeted at teens, and will be supported by a website. Additionally, video vignettes will be available on several social marketing sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, and YouTube. Online banner ads and mobile games will also be available. The campaign will run through June 2011. Click here to read more.

Washington State launches new and improved youth prevention website (WA)
The Washington State Tobacco Prevention and Control Program has re-launched its youth tobacco prevention website. The site content focuses on reference and education resources designed to help kids gather anti-tobacco information (textual and graphical data) for homework and other school-related projects, and have fun while doing so. The name is the same - - because the site has major name recognition among our target audience of 11-17 year olds and therefore is a valuable asset; however, the look, feel, content, and purpose are all different. New components of the website include a new design, architecture and framework; interactive trivia; news feed reader with tobacco-related news; and a graphics-based application that allows kids to interact with information about the harms of tobacco use. Click here to visit the new and improved website.



Children tune in to smoking message (China)
A new poll indicates that a Beijing based antismoking campaign targeting primary school students has been successful in increasing awareness of the harms of smoking and secondhand smoke. The campaign used audio books as a way for children and parents to learn about tobacco use together. The poll of 6,912 children found that compared to before the project, students who completed the project were more likely to report being aware that secondhand smoke is dangerous (92.1% versus 96%) and to tell a relative to quit smoking (82.6% versus 89.5%). Additionally, 81.9% of polled students said they would ask a stranger smoking nearby to stop smoking or smoke elsewhere, and 66% of students whose fathers smoked said they would tell him to join a cessation program. The audio book format was also favored by the children, with 90.4% saying they preferred that format to flyers and leaflets. Click here to read more.

'One cigarette for you and one for me': Children of smoking and nonsmoking parents during pretend play (Netherlands)
A new study from the Netherlands indicates that children learn that smoking is a normative behavior by observing their parents, which may lead to smoking initiation. Researchers observed play behavior of 206 four to seven year old children, pairing those reporting that at least one parent smokes with those reporting their parents did not smoke; paired children were of the same age and gender. Children were provided with a play area containing barbeque equipment and patio furniture, as well as fake cigarettes and a fake lighter, and were observed for pretend smoking behavior. The results showed that 63.6% of the children pretended to smoke, and in most cases, either both children in the pair pretended to smoke (59.2%), or neither did (32.0%). Children with at least one parent who smoked were more likely to initiate pretend smoking (65.6%) than to follow the lead of their partner (34.4%). The authors say that because modeling smoking could lead to smoking initiation, the study provides evidence that parents should not smoke around their young children at all, and should be provided with support to stop smoking. Click here to read the study abstract, published in Tobacco Control.


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