This resolution would encourage major motion picture studios to give a Restricted (R) rating to any new film designed for viewing by children and adolescents that shows or implies smoking or tobacco use.
AAP Positional Letter
August 20, 2018
The Honorable Jim Wood
Chair, Assembly Health Committee
State Capitol, Room Room 6005
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: SCR 143 (Pan): Smoking: youth: motion picture industry
AAPCA Position: Support
Dear Chair Wood:
The American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), representing over 5,000 California pediatricians, is pleased to support Senate Concurrent Resolution 143 (Pan) to encourage major motion picture studios to give a Restricted (R) rating to any new film designed for viewing by children and adolescents that shows or implies smoking or tobacco use.
Teens are particularly susceptible to social and environmental influences and images promoting tobacco use. Based on epidemiological studies by the CDC, the University of California, San Francisco projects that unless the film industry adopts voluntary, evidence-based policies to end depictions of smoking in movies rated G, PG and PG-13, more than half a million California children alive today will be recruited to smoke by their exposure to onscreen smoking. More than 160,000 children will die prematurely from tobacco-induced diseases after a healthcare expenditure of $5.3 billion.
Senate Concurrent Resolution 143 (Pan) encourages the film industry’s self-regulators to use their familiar film classification system to address a problem the industry was first briefed on in late 2003. After fifteen years of mounting evidence of harm, a responsive reasonable R-rating — together with renewed efforts by the California Department of Public Health and Office of Attorney General — can make life-saving gains against the last, completely unrestricted channel of tobacco promotion allowed to reach and harm children: youth-rated motion pictures with tobacco depictions.
Pediatrician members of AAP California Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 4 statewide strongly support SCR 143 (Pan) and urge an AYE vote, to the benefit of millions of California families. Thank you for your public service and leadership on behalf of the health and wellbeing of children, youth, and families in California.
Chief Executive Officer, American Academy of Pediatrics, California
cc: Assembly Health Committee Members; The Honorable Richard Pan, Author; AAP-CA Leadership; Lobbyist Lydia Bourne