WASHINGTON (CNN) - Smoking was once a staple of movies, adding a glamorous and alluring element to classic films. But a major production company announced Wednesday that it will never show smoking again in future films.
Robert Iger, President and CEO of the Walt Disney Company, said that films produced by Disney, Miramax and Touchstone will no longer show smoking of any kind. He took a step further and announced that there will be anti-smoking PSA labels on any DVDs that already have smoking in them.
"We expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney branded films will be non-existent," Iger said in a letter to Rep. Edward Markey, Chairman of the House Telecommunications Subcommittee.
Markey held hearings last month on images that children see on television and in movies that could have a potentially negative impact.
“We know that the presence of smoking in a movie significantly influences a child’s decision to start. This is troubling given the fact that a vast majority of smokers begin smoking before their 18th birthday,” Markey said in a statement. “I am pleased that Disney is embracing a policy that is consistent with the long term public health of the nation and my wish upon a star is that other studios and theater owners follow suit.”
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich