Rate it R Anti-Smoking Initiative

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Tuesday, March 1, 2016 | Samantha Potter | Categories:
Rate it R Anti-Smoking Initiative

"Rate it R" anti-smoking initiative

SOUTHERN TIER (WENY) - As many people are gearing up for the Academy Awards this Sunday, a local tobacco prevention youth group wants to make sure the only thing smoking on the red carpet is the gowns.

The local tobacco awareness group Southern Tier Tobacco Awareness Coalition, or STTAC, is trying to make an impact on the way Hollywood makes movies. Their goal is to get tobacco out of any movie not rated R. According to the Surgeon General one change to the movie rating system could save a million young lives, by taking tobacco imagery out of youth rated films.

Reality Check of Chemung, Schuyler, and Steuben counties joined youth around the world to create awareness about the way Hollywood movies encourage youth to use tobacco. The youth group hosted a free- showing of the smoke-free film Jurassic World at the Corning Palace Theatre. Attendees were asked to sign petitions to support Smoke Free Movies and participate in the "Rate It R" initiative

Sarah Robbins, the Reality Check Coordinator for STTAC says tobacco imagery in movies is the leading recruiting tool for youth. "Kids are protected in other things they see in movies like violence and things that make more sense. But tobacco really needs to be considered because it is such a deadly habit. It's the number one cause of preventable death across the world. Any way that we can help reduce the number of kids who start using tobacco I think is a worthy effort," explains Robbins.

In 2015 Disney announced it would remove tobacco in all Disney branded films. Robbins says in the last 20 years tobacco use in movies has gone down, but there's still a long way to go.

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