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Hollywood Ads Adult Smoking To Ratings System

The Motion Picture Association of America said Thursday that smoking in a movie may earn a tougher rating, even if it is by a consenting adult.

Illegal teen smoking had been a factor in movie ratings in the past, said the Motion Picture Association of America, but now "all smoking" will be considered and "depictions that glamorize smoking or movies that feature pervasive smoking outside of an historic or other mitigating context may receive a higher rating."

That came only hours after a TV producer had been asked whether film producers should be able to insert smoking scenes into films to compensate for the fact that they could not advertise on TV.

Everybody Loves Raymond creator/executive Producer Phil Rosenthal had replied that the film's rating should reflect that smoking, and the MPAA appears to agree.

"There is broad awareness of smoking as a unique public health concern due to nicotine’s highly addictive nature," said MPAA Chairman and CEO Dan Glickman in a statement, "and no parent wants their child to take up the habit. The appropriate response of the rating system is to give more information to parents on this issue."

MPAA stopped short of saying films with smoking should get a mandatory R ratings, as some anti-smoking activists have called for.

“I believe it is inappropriate to feature tobacco use in movies rated ‘G” or “PG’ and support efforts to have the rating system reflect this," Markey told B&C. "Movies targeting children should not be vehicles for glorifying smoking, especially considering the harm this product causes in our society. I intend to review this announcement closely.”

MPAA also announced Thursday that it has joined Hollywood Unfiltered, an entertainment industry initiative to educate themselves of the public health implications of showing smoking in movies and on television.