Take tobacco out of our movies

Shemaiah Campbell

Shemaiah Campbell

This past Sunday, the greatest movies of 2013 were celebrated at the Academy Awards.

Unfortunately, one thing teens like me see way too often in the movies is tobacco use.

Showing smoking and tobacco use in movies that are rated PG or PG-13 send the wrong message that it’s cool to smoke.

As a part of FACT, Wisconsin’s youth tobacco prevention program, I’ve learned that the 2012 Surgeon General’s report showed teens like me are more likely to start using tobacco because of seeing it in movies.

Tobacco use was seen 14.9 billion times in 2012’s G, PG and PG-13 movies. 99% of those were in PG- 13 movies, which are the ones teens go to the most!

I’ve sometimes seen my friends imitate characters smoking in movies and I do not think it’s cool.

I see and hear about smoking in movies too much and it’s not appropriate for kids.

My friends and people in my class would sometimes act like these actors.

They pretend to be smoking and I don’t like it.

It’s as if they don’t care about the side effects that result from smoking.

An example of a movie that happens to be PG 13 is “Hellboy”, where the main character is shown smoking a cigar several times.

I think smoking should not be in PG or PG13 films because it is unhealthy, not cool and just plain inappropriate for kids.

Even though some movies continue to promote tobacco to teens, I’m doing my part to help other teens be tobacco-free.

As a member of FACT we are spreading the truth about tobacco.

For more information on FACT, visit fight-with-FACT.com.

Shemaiah Campbell
Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network