The Walt Disney Company has become the first major Hollywood studio to prohibit depiction of cigarette smoking in films they produce with youth ratings. The company’s new policy will limit smoking depictions to films with an R rating. The U.S. Surgeon General has said this move could save the lives of over 1,000,000 children if the entire industry followed suit. The policy covers all films that Disney produces, but does NOT extend to films the company distributes.
“Disney is showing their leadership by taking action on the Surgeon General and CDC report, implementing a policy with direct impact on this public health crisis,” said Andrew Behar, CEO of environmental health advocacy non-profit As You Sow. “The next step should be to publicly endorse an MPAA policy to require an R rating for all films depicting smoking.”