Huffpost Parents

Smoking In Movies 'Encourages Teens,' Campaigners Say Ratings Should Be Changed

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Film ratings help us shield our kids from inappropriate scenes containing sex, drugs and violence. But what about smoking? New research, out of the UK, suggests that teens who observe film actors smoking are more likely to try cigarettes themselves. And although smoking scenes in kids' movies have declined 96% in the last five years, researches from Bristol University argue that all films with smoking scenes should be rated so that teens under 18 aren't exposed to them.

In the video above, Dr. Alisa Lyons from the Center for Tobacco Control Studies and film critic Jason Solomons debate whether ratings should be changed based on smoking scenes. Dr. Lyons tells BBC:

"The more a child sees tobacco in films the more likely they are to subsequently start smoking,"

Pro-smoking choice campaigners, on the other hand, say it's unnecessary to make these changes. Solomons, speaking on their behalf, says:

"Banning smoking isn't the business of art, it's of health education."

What do you think? Do you agree that what a person sees at the movies will influence his or her decision to smoke? Or not?

Quick Poll

Should smoking scenes be considered when rating films?

Yes, watching people smoke on screen is a bad influence.

No, smoking scenes do not encourage smoking.