The Motion Picture Association of America has emerged victorious from a lawsuit against representations of smoking in films rated PG and PG-13. A class action had been launched against the MPAA over concerns that film representations of smoking encourage young viewers to take up the habit. Plaintiff Timothy Forsyth’s lawsuit argued, “In 2012 the surgeon general concluded that the scientific evidence established that exposure of children to tobacco imagery in films causes children to smoke.
Back in April, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) attempted to defend itself against a lawsuit hoping to ban smoking in films deemed suitable for children, by claiming that such a ban would infringe on free speech.
The World Health Organisation has called for all films featuring smoking to be given an instant adult rating. “With ever tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising, film remains one of the last channels exposing millions of adolescents to smoking imagery without restrictions,” said Dr Douglas Bettcher, the WHO’s director for the department of prevention of non-communicable diseases.