July 25th, 2007
12:45 PM ET
7 years ago

Thank you for not smoking

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

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. mike

    while part of me wants to commend them for what they are doing...this is ridiculous. what if one of the characters major flaw is smoking? there are sutble things smoking alludes to when written in a screenplay....and then whats next all marijuana taken out of movies?? then beer? then nudity??

    July 25, 2007 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  2. Jason Randazzo, Los Angeles, CA

    I think if Disney was serious about promoting a healthy lifestyle for the children, they would quit selling all the sugar infested, unhealthy junkfood at their amusement parks and movie theatres. I know the profit margins aren't as high in selling fruits and vegetables but can you at least put one stand in each of your amusement parks that has real food on the menu? What child can resist all the ice cream, popcorn, gummy bears, m&m's, cotton candy and soda pop when going to Disneyland? Last I checked, obesity is killing far more people in this country than cigarettes.

    July 25, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Lee, Bellevue, WA

    If showing smoking in movies has adverse effects on youth, we may presume the same of showing assault, rape, drug use, alcohol use, and theft which the named companies employ frequently in their movies.

    July 25, 2007 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  4. Mrs. America

    I trust they won't be doing many historical films then. Or, maybe they could just change history like moviemakers have done with Mark Twain's works to protect our youth from learning about that despicable thing called "slavery." Good grief. Kids are going to learn about smoking, just like they learn about sex no matter how much people try to keep them ignorant.

    July 25, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I suggest all of you watch the movie by the same name. Shows what happens when gung ho lobbyists/politicians get behind a cause. Plus Katie Holmes looks good in the movie..

    July 25, 2007 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Bob, San Francisco, CA

    I think an adult-themed movie should not be restricted by censorship, even if well-intentioned. Imagine a movie like "Good Night and Good Luck" if they weren't allowed to depict smoking. You can't change history or reality for PC reasons.

    July 25, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. Travis

    This is great news! Why is everyone complaining?

    July 25, 2007 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  8. Pat Battle Ground, WA

    Oh, and when you're walking with yor kid and you see one of those datardly smokers, don't forget to cover their eyes. Goodness they could end up smokin'. Give me a BREAK!

    July 25, 2007 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  9. Tricia M Charlottetown PEI

    Why all the hype about smoking? Last I checked Freedom of Choice was my inherent right! I'm truly tired of Politics, Governments, Movie Companies, Celebs, Reporters, etc. etc. dictating my every move whilst they wack back a few double shots of whiskey, bourbon or whatever their pleasure and fill their swanzy offices with cigar smoke or worse!

    What utter nonsense! Oh yeah Smoking is voo doo, poison, a death certificate, a skeleton and bone advertisement. Yet, drunk drivers, dope pushers, pill pushers, gun toters, fast food joints kill more adults and children than smokers could even hope to come near!

    Get off the smoking kick why don't you all and put your time, money, celebrity status, and research on the real killers. Check our air quality lately? What about our fish kills? What about the toxins used in farming? What about our Lawn and Garden toxins, insecticides, pesticides, cow manure, soil run offs to name only a few.

    What about the devastating toxins that we're using in Iraq, Afghanistan under the guise of bringing peace to their nations!

    Pluuuuueeeesssseee give me a break...The only reason we have all the hype about smoking is because it's the easiest of evils to attack. When all the smokers quit then what? What will you blame next? Maybe Sex being the number one heart attack killer?

    Meanwhile let's send another space ship to the moon and see if we can find a cure for all these brain dead phobic anti smoking do gooders! But you may want to get behind cleaning up our earth of all the real toxins first before you make that trip to the moon! As before long it too will be a toxic wasteland thanks to our Einstein scientists from earth! Anyone care for a shot a gin? Not nearly as many chemicals in that as there are in cigarettes you know! Just a small dose of wood alcohol poisoning.. a mere trifle! Bottoms Up!

    July 25, 2007 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  10. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Posted By Lee, Bellevue, WA: "If showing smoking in movies has adverse effects on youth, we may presume the same of showing assault, rape, drug use, alcohol use, and theft which the named companies employ frequently in their movies."

    Although your point is valid it begs the question, what self respecting parent would allow their child to watch a movie depicting those themes you describe?

    I'm very opposed to censorship but then this isn't real censorship. It is self imposed censorship. Walt Disney is spending the money to produce these films. They have the inherent right to say what themes their movies depict. We as consumers have the right not to view the Disney movies if we so choose. That's the way the market works.

    July 25, 2007 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. bprosserme

    God did not come off His throne and give YOU or THEM authority over people. Who do YOU think YOU are anyway? Do I not have the right to smoke or not smoke? That choice has been taken away by TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION – NEVER VOTED ON BY PUBLIC. You people are incredible! Say I don't like you drinking COFFEE? Do I have the right to tax coffee to the extent that you can no longer afford coffee? OF COURSE NOT, YOU SAY, THAT'S RIDICULOUS, RIGHT? Neither do you/they have the right to tax cigarettes out of the affordability of the blue-collar worker who makes up the majority of smokers. YOU MAKE ME SICK!

    July 25, 2007 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Thank you for not or for smoking is used as just another excuse to start. Most children who smoke are influenced not by peers but by mom and dad and grandma and gramps. The reports saying pots is the gateway drug is a report of fools the first drug used is tabbacco then pot. Good old legal nicotene leads the way for all the rest look and see what the addicted choose moore than food or their drug of choice tabbacco is number two on the hit list. so the evil gate way drug is the one that is taxed and laws are rrelaxed on... way take away goverments funding by outlawing the danger....J. Lord WV

    July 26, 2007 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  13. Carl, Dallas, Texas

    Can we get off the smoking bandwagon and start one for obesity. Not only for the health of the 50 million american kids who will NOT outlive their parents, but for all the money fastfood and drug companies make...

    July 26, 2007 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  14. Ryan, New York, NY

    With the amount of obese children we're creating in this country, we'll need cigarette smoking in the future to curb all their appetites so they don't die of heart attacks by 50 and can die of lung cancer at 60+.

    July 26, 2007 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  15. David, Gilbert Arizona

    Smoking is not a right. It is a luxury and an unhealthy luxury at that. Should I be able to buy alcohol tax free because it is my right to do so? No, alcohol consumption is a luxury.

    State cigarette tax averages $1.073 per pack. Cities and states may institute additional taxes on tobacco products by referendum (voter approval)or by legislation. State and city tobacco taxes average 10% of the retail price (some states are taxed at a much higher rate than others).

    Tobacco will never be banned out right. To do so would be to create a black market product same as alcohol did during prohibition. The tax burden on cigarettes has already created a small black market internet industry of sorts. A person can purchase cartons of cigarettes from overseas without paying taxes by using the internet.

    There is good and bad on both sides of the issue.

    I've seen just as many obese people smoke as I do thin people. Cigarettes keeping people thin is a myth. The smoke with destroy your skin however and age you prematurely.

    July 26, 2007 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  16. Laurent , Las Cruces New Mexico/currently overseas

    The anti smoking mechanism is a conspiracy to well fund the pharmaceutical companies, insurance and drive smokers to seek help to quit by getting nicotine from them. We're heading to prohibition by stealth. First they regulate, then they reduce, then they ban and criminalize. The government gets about 20 billion in taxes from smokers. When smokers go away, they will get that money from food, medicine, gasoline, and property. We're losing our freedoms. Look up Ron Paul's campaign for prez. He's for your liberties and against our personal lives being regulated.

    July 27, 2007 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  17. Mary, Beaver, PA

    I believe in freedom of choice. Disney has the right to ban smoking from their movies. However, because I believe in freedom of choice, I despise these health nannies pushing their agenda down our throats. Let adults make their own lifestyle choices.

    July 27, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  18. s.h.m

    i think its great! why is everyone taking it personal? just because disney is taking smoking out of their films doesnt mean they are trying to take "smokers" rights away. if youre wondering why the smoking-ban hype is on the rise.. maybe is because SOME people are tired of smelling stinky second-hand smoke! movies/media are full of trash these days, hopefully this will not be the end of the attempt to clean it up a bit.

    July 28, 2007 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |