Attorneys general from 24 American states are begging the movie industry to cut down smoking on the big screen - because it encourages teens to take up the habit.

Their concerns stem from a June (03) study that reveals children who watch movies in which actors puff heavily on cigarettes are three times more likely to turn to nicotine themselves than those exposed to less smoking in films.

On Tuesday (26AUG03), the attorneys sent a letter to MOTION PICTURE ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA (MPAA) President Jack Valenti, asking him to combat the issue.

TOM DRESSLAR, a spokesman for California Attorney General BILL LOCKYER, says, "We're not saying any law has been broken. We're just asking out of a concern for the health of our kids that the industry do what it can to ensure that kids don't start smoking."

MPAA spokesman RICH TAYLOR has confirmed Valenti has received the letter, and insists he'll respond accordingly.

Taylor adds, "Smoking is, if you'll recall, a legal activity. That being said, he'll be reading carefully the letter and the study it references."

27/08/2003 17:26