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Disney to Quit Smoking; Add Warnings to DVDs

25 Jul, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Walt Disney Co. July 25 said it would begin phasing out depictions of smoking from its movies in addition to placing anti-smoking PSA on DVDs.

The studio said it would also work with theater operators to show anti-smoking PSA.

The Motion Picture Association of America has said it will begin to factor smoking along with violence and sexual content when rating a movie.

The action, outlined in a letter from Disney CEO Bob Iger to Edward Markey, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, was in response to concerns raised by the Massachusetts Democrat.

Last month, Markey held a hearing focused on the images children see on screen, during which he called upon media companies to join the anti-smoking effort and help dissuade children from starting to smoke.

“We expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney branded films will be non-existent,” Iger said. “We [currently] discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in Disney, Touchstone and Miramax films.”

Markey called Disney's decision to take a stand against smoking “groundbreaking.”

“Now it's time for other media companies to similarly kick the habit and follow Disney's lead,” he said.

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