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2015

Clearing the air: Disney to ban smoking in all future movies

Ben Child | The Guardian (13 Mar 2015)
Cigarettes to be excluded from forthcoming films, including Marvel and Star Wars properties, CEO Bob Iger tells shareholders. Disney has banned smoking in all of its forthcoming movies, unless characters being depicted were historically known for lighting up. Read more...

Disney CEO to ‘Absolutely Prohibit’ Smoking in Films Made for Kids

Seth Kelley | Variety (13 Mar 2015)
Walt Disney Studios chairman and CEO Bob Iger said that he will “absolutely prohibit” smoking in all Disney films, including those from Marvel Studios, with a PG-13 rating or below, unless it is historically pertinent. Iger made the statement in response to an investor’s question at Disney’s annual shareholder’s meeting, which took place Thursday in San Francisco. “I thought it was the right thing for us to do,” he said about the recent decision. The smoking ban will impact all films released with the ratings unless the movies are about an historical figure that was known for smoking, like Abraham Lincoln, Iger noted. Read more...

'Star Wars: Episode VIII' Release Date Revealed

Paul Bond | The Hollywood Reporter (13 Mar 2015)
Iger was called on to reiterate his pledge of not showing characters smoking on TV or in movies except where necessary for historical accuracy, though one shareholder asked him to go further by asking the MPAA to give an R-rating to movies that include smoking and to rally other studios to support such a measure. Iger said it would be "a little presumptuous" to tell other studios what to do or to tell the MPAA how it should rate movies. The shareholder noted that he had spoken to the MPAA about his idea, and the MPAA told him to speak to the studios, so he was now getting the runaround. "I think the MPAA is kind of talking out of both sides of its mouth, and the result is a million kids are going to die unnecessarily," said the shareholder. Read more...

Here’s Why You’ll Never See Iron Man Smoking a Cigarette In a Marvel Movie

Victoria McNally | MTV News (13 Mar 2015)
Genius billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark has got some pretty bad habits, like drinking too much, sleeping around, and accidentally inventing genocidal artificial intelligence. But one thing he’s never going to do is light up a cigarette, says Disney; they will “absolutely prohibit” the depiction of smoking in all Disney films with a PG-13 rating or under, including those made by Marvel, Pixar, and Lucasfilm. Chairman and CEO Bob Iger reiterated Disney’s current policy at a shareholder meeting yesterday (March 12), noting that the only exception is when films depict real-life historical figures who were known for their tobacco habit. “For instance, we’ve been doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker, and we would consider that acceptable,” he said. This isn’t the first time the Avengers have shied away from cigarettes, of course. When Joe Quesada first stepped up as Editor in Chief of Marvel Comics in 2001, he implemented a similar ban for all the main Marvel characters — having lost a grandfather to lung cancer, he believed that depicting smoking in comics encouraged the behavior. Issues in the Marvel back catalog remained unchanged, but recently new trade collections have had their cover art altered to reflect the company’s anti-smoking policy. Read more...

Film with smoking content should be rated 18A to protect kids, group argues

Sheryl Ubelacker | CTV (3 Feb 2015)
'This is one of the last forms of media where tobacco use can actually be shown to kids.' Read more...

Coalition wants movies with smoking rated 18A

Jennifer Palisoc | Global News (30 Jan 2015)
Ontario, Canada's Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies is calling for a change in how movies with smoking are rated. Read more...

2014

Chain-smoking characters face an R-rating

Alexandra Zabcek | Edmonton (Canada) Journal (27 Nov 2014)
Alberta, Canada, campaign wants smoking in new feature films to prompt an R-rating. Read more...

China mulls smoking scene ban on screen

Zhao Wei | Sina.com (26 Nov 2014)
Bolstering a 2011 regulation, a new law would fine producers for tobacco brands and product placement in films. Read more...

Doctors want Hollywood to cancel e-cigs

Brad Broker | Physicians News Digest (20 Oct 2014)
Pennsylvania Medical Society wants the AMA to lobby federal agencies to prohibit celebrity endorsements and product placements. Read more...

Advocacy groups challenge studios over smoking in youth-rated movies

Brooks Barnes | The New York Times (30 Sep 2014)
Shareholders push for progress in limiting cigarette smoking in movies that young people see the most. Read more...