If Dr. Richard Daines has his way, Empire State youth will never know how cool smoking looks on the silver screen. The New York state health commissioner launched a campaign this week urging major film studio CEOs to protect children under 17 from seeing movies with smoking scenes.
In full-page advertisements that ran in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Tuesday, Daines said that films showing tobacco use should be rated “R” unless they show the dangers of tobacco use or depict the smoking habit of a historical figure. According to the commish, “Exposure to smoking in movies is the single most powerful pro-tobacco influence on children today, accounting for the recruitment of half of all new adolescent smokers.” The good doctor wants anti-smoking ads to run before every film that shows tobacco use and called for studios to state in the closing credits that any people shown smoking in a film weren’t paid to promote tobacco products.
The health department reportedly shelled out $800,000 for the ads, which would buy a lot of smokes, even in Manhattan. But what is celluloid New York without cigarettes? As a public service, Radar proudly presents the Top 10 Smoking in New York Movies you might have missed had the movie gestapo jumped into the fray sooner.