Tag Archives: youth smoking

“Adult ratings” for smoking in films would hardly help

The essay, by researchers at the University of Sydney and RTI International, objects to a draft policy being proposed by more than 20 public health agencies and the World Health Organization.

The policy, if adopted, would allow leading movie characters to accurately portray people who smoke cigarettes, but would assign adult ratings to movies in which nameless, faceless background characters smoke, unless they are scripted to speak against smoking.

Leonardo di Caprio smoking scene in Titanic.

Leonardo di Caprio smoking scene in Titanic.

However, the authors say the existing evidence fails to account for other adult content in movies with smoking, casting doubt on the evidence of a dose-response relationship between the presence of smoking in movie scenes and an increase in youth smoking.

“Most fundamentally, it is bad policy to regulate creative or cultural products like movies, books, art and theater,” said Simon Chapman, professor and director of research of the University of Sydney School of Public Health.

“The role of film in open societies involves far more than being simply a means to mass communicate healthy role models. Many movies depict social problems and people behaving badly, and smoking in movies mirrors the prevalence of smoking in populations.”

“No one would consider me a fan of the tobacco industry, but even I think the proposal circulating among public health officials to rate movies based on the presence of background cigarette smokers would likely do nothing to reduce youth smoking,” said Matthew Farrelly, Ph.D., chief scientist and senior director of RTI’s Public Health Policy Research Program.

Deputies: Man attacks father over cigarettes.

BROOKSVILLE – Deputies claim a man choked his father unconscious Saturday after he refused to give him cigarettes.

According to a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office report, Stephen Thomas Murphy, 23, of Brooksville, became irate with his father after he refused to give him a cigarette, due to Murphy’s heart problems.

Once his back was turned, Murphy grabbed his father from behind and choked him until he was unconscious, the report shows. He then took his father’s cigarettes, cell and house phone.

Stephen Thomas Murphy

Stephen Thomas Murphy

When the victim awoke, he walked to a gas station roughly 200 yards away, where he attempted to use a pay phone to call 911.

The report shows that Murphy used his father’s car to follow him to the gas station and confronted him. Upon learning that he was calling law enforcement, Murphy hung up the pay phone.

Fearing for his safety, the victim entered his car and locked the doors while Murphy tried to enter the vehicle, according to the report.

While trying to go around to the passenger side of the car, the victim panicked and hit the gas — striking Murphy, the report shows. He then drove back to his house while Murphy chased after him.

Back at the house, Murphy grabbed a large stone and threw it into the car’s windshield as his father pulled into the driveway. Murphy then fled on foot.

Deputies noted that the stone was embedded in the windshield, which had shattered. Murphy’s father also had bruising on his neck and forearm.

Murphy was later apprehended in Mazaryktown. He was taken to Hernando County Jail where he is being held on $7,000 on charges of throwing a deadly missile and tampering with a witness. He is also being held without bond on charges of battery by domestic strangulation.