"All smoking will be considered and depictions that glamorize smoking or … feature pervasive smoking outside of an historic or other mitigating context" could warrant a more prohibitive rating, the organization said.
The San Francisco-based center Smoke Free Movies claims that movies are responsible for 5,000 smoking-related deaths a month that might have been prevented by an R rating. The group also says movies are responsible half of the 800,000 children a year who start smoking. They went on to say that video games and Marilyn Mason are responsible for all spree killings. Ok, I made that last part up.
Of late, smoking in movies has been so pervasive and insidious that, according to an MPAA study of all movies rated over the past four years — roughly 3,400 movies — 57% contained scenes of smoking. Of that 57%, roughly 75% were rated R, the MPAA says. So, just over half had a smoker in it and of those movies, 3/4 already had an R rating... if we take out all the historic and this nebulous mitigating context, how many movies are we really talking about? I want to see THAT study.
What the hell is mitigating context? According to whom? What is glamorizing smoking? When beautiful women do it and leave lipstick stained butts in a crystal ashtray, or when a soldier in a war movie sucks down a butt while hunkered in a bunker?
These are rhetorical questions only. Anyone who has seen This Film is Not Yet Rated knows that the MPAA is a shadow organization that answers to no one, arbitrarily passes down its rulings, and applies nebulous standards that they refuse to discuss.
What does this mean for movie makers? No smoking in your film unless you are ok with the R rating and the "this movie glorifies smoking" tag. In the immortal words of Eddie Izzard, "No smoking [...] no drinking, no talking." I want to see THAT war movie. Compelling and accurate viewing, I'm sure.