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Mr. PITTS. Mr. Speaker, at a time when policy makers are doing everything they can to reduce smoking in our society, one area of smoking prevention remains unchallenged: Smoking in the movies.
Studies have shown that viewing smoking in the movies normalizes smoking among youth. It glamorizes smoking through the attractiveness of the actors and characters who smoke. These attitude changes lead to smoking experimentation, which in turn leads to harmful and addictive habits.
Tobacco is still depicted in three-quarters of youth-rated movies and 90 percent of R-rated movies. Movies targeting impressionable youth should be the last place for gratuitous smoking images.
Dartmouth Medical School found that up to one-half of the youth smoking initiation is explained by exposure to smoking in the movies in their studies.
Parents should know they are exposing their kids to glamorized depictions of smoking when they allow them to see youth-related movies by the rating system.