Last year the World Health Organization (WHO) called upon governments world-wide to apply adult ratings to movies with smoking because of evidence demonstrating that on-screen smoking causes over one-third of youth to start smoking.
According to the US Centre of Disease Control, nine out of 10 cigarette smokers today first tried smoking by age 18, and 99 percent first tried smoking by age 26.
Together with our friends at the BC Healthy Living Alliance and Vancouver Coastal Health, the BC Lung Association are urging the BC government to respond to WHO’s call.
We’re also supporting a campaign created by a health & wellness club of motivated high school students from David Thompson Secondary in Vancouver.
Interested in promoting healthy behaviours, the students invited us to talk about how Big Tobacco continues to fund tobacco product placement and on-screen smoking to influence people young and old to smoke.
In response, the students decided, with volunteer mentor Conner Galway, principal of digital communications agency Junction Vancouver, to create a social media campaign they’ve called “#NotSmokingHot”.
Their goal? To raise awareness about how tobacco corporations continue to fund smoking in movies as a strategy to entice youth to take up the deadly habit.
Campaign leader and grade 10 student Alisha Kumar said, “I just don’t get it. Why would they do that when they know it’s going to get kids to start smoking? It is so not necessary.”
To show your support for the campain, visit our Facebook and Twitter pages and help spread the word by sharing and retweeting campaign related posts as we lead up to Academy Awards night, February 26, 2017.
Photography courtesy of Jorge Posada. Photo, top left: Alisha Kumar. Photo, bottom right (from left, clockwise): Alisha Kumar, Conner Galway, Josh Ramos, William Nouyen, Mar-Jean Dolar, Ruth Samson, Raksha Kumar, Monisha Kumar.