For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: October 24, 2006
Film Maker Agrees to Anti-smoking Video on Newest DVD Release
(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence Wasden announced today that The Weinstein Company is the first motion picture company to insert anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) in DVDs in which smoking is depicted. The Weinstein Company agreed to the action in response to a letter from 41 state attorneys general to Hollywood’s 13 major motion picture companies. Beginning with the December release of Clerks II, The Weinstein Company’s upcoming DVDs will include an anti-smoking ad created by the American Legacy Foundation.
“We have been trying for years to get Hollywood studios to work with us on what we believe is an important and meaningful protection for our children,” Attorney General Wasden said. “I appreciate that the Weinsteins have taken this important first step.”Wasden’s request last month offered free and unlimited use of teen-targeted anti-smoking ads developed for the American Legacy Foundation’s truth® campaign. The foundation was created pursuant to the 1998 settlement of the states' tobacco litigation against the major tobacco companies. As of this date, no other studios have responded to the offer.
“We are very proud to be the first to sign onto this important initiative,” said Bob and Harvey Weinstein. "The Attorney General made a very sensible request, and we think the concept has a lot of merit. Hopefully, our Company’s decision to move forward will make other studios reconsider the idea.”
“As a former smoker, I feel like it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to educate young people about the dangers of smoking,” Harvey Weinstein added. “We really hope this initiative will have an impact with viewers across the country.”
“Our hope is that the Weinsteins’ bold move sets a trend with other decision makers in Hollywood,” Cheryl G. Healton, Dr. P.H., President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Legacy Foundation said. “It is a simple way to prevent thousands of youth from smoking, and can ultimately reduce tobacco addiction and premature death."
Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of death in the United States. Eighty percent of adult smokers begin before age 18. Research has shown that teens are strongly influenced by seeing actors they admire smoke in movies, regardless of the characters they play. To counteract this, the attorneys general have repeatedly asked the Motion Picture Association of America and the major studios to show youth smoking prevention public service messages in theaters and on DVDs before films that contain smoking. The attorneys general also asked the National Association of Theatre Owners and its members to show the messages in their theaters.
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