Kids often imitate adults. That is especially true when it comes to what they see on the big screen. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control projects that movies with smoking will recruit more than six million American children to smoke in this generation, and there are plenty of opportunities for that to happen. This year, nearly 80-percent of live-action films competing for Academy Awards feature smoking – including two-thirds of the kid-rated films.
During the week before the Oscars, St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP) and its grant-funded program, Capital District Tobacco-Free Communities (CDTFC), will host a family-friendly, smoke-free movie night to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco use and the impact of the tobacco imagery shown in films. The Disney film, A Wrinkle in Time, which contains no smoking imagery, will be shown.
Date: Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Time: 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Doors open: 5 p.m.; Movie starts at 6 p.m.
Location: Schenectady County Public Library
99 Clinton Street, Schenectady, NY 12305
The movie screening will include trivia games and giveaway prizes, along with hands-on experiments by Girls, Inc., demonstrating the harmful effects of tobacco use. There will be free pizza, snacks and water for families as well.
The free movie night coincides with Smokefree Movies Action Week, which runs from Sunday, Feb. 17 to Sunday, Feb. 24, the night of the Academy Awards telecast. That week, CDTFC will use social media and other platforms to challenge the film industry, parents, and other stakeholders to get rid of smoking in youth-rated movies by using the hashtag #HelpOscarQuit.
The movement, created by the University of California San Francisco (www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu), aims to reduce smoking exposure in youth-rated films by encouraging that all films with smoking be given an R rating. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that giving an R rating to such films would delay the initiation of tobacco use among youth and prevent premature deaths from tobacco-related diseases.