On my show today, we discussed the new survey from the American Medical Association that says 70% of adults support giving an R rating to any movie with characters who smoke, because it encourages teenagers to start using tobacco. Sounds like a stretch to me, since most smokers I know started because of peer pressure or because their parents smoke, not because they saw some fictional character lighting one up.
A listener named Kevin e-mailed,
I think if you would add the phrase,"contains acts of smoking tobacco" to the PG, PG-13, R and NC-17 rating, you would let the consumer know and those that care can bypass the movie and those that don't can still enjoy "Superman" and "The Mask" without worrying about corrupting our kids.
I wonder how far we'd have to go with those warnings to protect our kids from bad influences:
- "Includes characters eating fast food."
- "Includes scenes of women dating bad boys."
- "Includes bad driving by teenagers."
- "Contains Lindsay Lohan."