Chinese Government Curbs Movie Smoking
You may have noticed the MPAA started including smoking on their reasons for a particular rating. The brouhaha surrounding that decision has died down a bit, largely because tobacco use is now twenty percent as offensive to the American public as drunk driving, but in a lot of other countries where smoking is much more prevalent, this is still a hot button issue. No country in the world purchases more cigarettes than China, and after a new study showed Chinese children are more likely to smoke after seeing movie stars do it, the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television has decided to lay down the law.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, movies will no longer be allowed to depict minors smoking or buying tobacco products, as well as anyone lighting anywhere smoking is banned. This includes all public buildings and will probably be the sorriest point of contention for filmmakers. That being said, movies are supposed to, for the most part, glorify realism, and if you can't smoke in certain places, films should depict that, or at least implement consequences if characters do. As to whether or not it's realistic for minors not to light up, it probably isn't, but as long as surveys showing it influences children are released, decisions like this will continue.
Now it just remains to be seen whether this will be implemented or even how long it lasts. Tobacco is big business in China, and more than seventy-five billion was paid in taxes by the state run smoking industry. That's a serious lobbying arm, and it's unlikely they'll be pleased by these developments.
No word on whether this will affect foreign made films, but with the Chinese marketplace continuing to grow, Hollywood will be forced to take notice.
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