Attorney General David Márquez Announces that the Weinstein Company will add Anti-Smoking Public Service Announcements to Newest DVD Release
October 24, 2006
(Anchorage) – Attorney General David Márquez 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 responded to a September 2006 letter to Hollywood's 13 major motion picture companies, which was signed by the Attorneys General from 41 states. Beginning with the December release of "Clerks II," the Weinstein Company's upcoming DVDs, which are distributed by TWC's exclusive home entertainment distributor, Genius Products, will include an anti-smoking ad created by the American Legacy Foundation.
"The Weinstein Company is the first company to take a bold step in taking responsibility for protecting our children from the dangers of smoking," said Márquez. "For some time now attorneys general from a number of states have worked to persuade Hollywood studios to work with us on what we believe is an important and meaningful tool to educate our children about the dangerous health problems related to smoking. This company deserves commendation for stepping up to the plate. We hope other companies will soon follow suit."
The September request offered free and unlimited use of teen-targeted anti-smoking ads developed for the truth® campaign of the American Legacy Foundation, 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 this PSA offer.
"We are very proud to be the first to sign onto this important initiative," said Bob and Harvey Weinstein. "We think the concept has a lot of merit. "Hopefully our Company's decision to move forward will make other studios reconsider the idea."
Harvey Weinstein added, "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. We really hope this initiative will have an impact with viewers across the country."
Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of death in the United States and 80 percent of adult smokers begin before age 18. Research has shown that teens are strongly influenced by seeing actors they idolize smoke on screen, 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 run such messages in their theaters.
- National Attorneys General Request for Anti-Smoking PSAs - PDF (410KB)
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