Positive idea gone up in smoke

By Katie Clark
October 18, 2007

As someone who has been recently trying to quit smoking cigarettes, it is difficult plenty of times to see people everywhere, especially celebrities, having a smoke. It just makes my craving for that one drag skyrocket.

When I first heard about the idea of movies cutting out many scenes with smoking in them and put habits like chewing gum or biting nails in their place, I was relieved. It would make the process I am going through as well as many others a little less difficult.

The excitement I had for this change quickly came to an end, once I actually read up on more information about the topic. The extents that some studios are going through to meet these limitations on smoking are simply ridiculous. Basically all studios are cutting out any reference to or relative action towards smoking in all G, PG and PG-13 films with maybe some exceptions here and there.

After reading about this more in depth, I have many harsh feelings towards the studio companies. Even though they are definitely not the healthiest habit to endure, cigarette smoking is a part of many societies all around the world. It may cause cancer or some sort of disease or illness to the lungs but it is how many people today relieve stress, boredom, etc. To cut something like this out of movies is just the simple way of avoiding the problem.

Don’t get me wrong, I do not think G rated movies should have smoking in the movies, but how many do you actually see that promote smoking to begin with? If anything we see little scenes where smoking is prohibited or looked down upon.

It is not until PG movies where smoking should be introduced. I am not saying introduced with peer pressure, however, with education on the matter.

Children need to be educated on the dangers of smoking and the consequences it entails. Like I said before, smoking is a part of life, children are going to run into it no matter where they turn. It is a matter of whether or not they are properly educated about it. Movies are the best way to get through to many children, not a class in school. They pay more attention to movies than they would ever do in school.

PG-13 movies are a little different. First off I think 13 years old is a bad age for many of the movies that are rated PG-13. I really think there should be another middle rating for movies between PG-13 and R. There is so much of an age difference and maturity levels change throughout those years. With this system I think PG13 should be more on the educating side of smoking along with peer pressures and how to actually deal with it.

In the end, smoking cigarettes shouldn’t be something that is avoided or kept as a secret. Movies are suppose to relate to life and no matter if we like it or not cigarettes are always going to be around.

Sure, cutting back on the casual smoking habits in movies is a positive idea, but completely avoiding the problem is not going to change anything. People will see and be around smoking where ever they go.

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Katie Clark

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