State offers studios use of anti-smoking service ads

Posted: Monday, September 11, 2006

LOS ANGELES - Hoping to reduce teen smoking, attorneys general from more than 35 states, including Alaska, this week offered movie studios free use of three public-service announcements to be included on DVDs and videos.

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The move came nearly a year after 32 attorneys general sent a similar letter urging studios to add PSAs to home-viewing releases that depict smoking.

"I was deeply disappointed by the industry's failure to heed our initial call," Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a statement.

"We urge movie makers to do the right thing and include these powerful and persuasive anti-smoking ads on all DVDs and videos that depict tobacco use," he said.

Studios referred calls to the Motion Picture Association of America. MPAA spokeswoman Kori Bernards said it was too early to comment on whether studios would accept the offer to use the PSAs.

"We will formally respond to them in a timely manner and look forward to future discussions with them," Bernards said.

The attorneys general said 73 percent of all youth-rated movies show tobacco use.

"This may not be an offer they can't refuse, but it should be an offer studio executives will be happy to accept," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said of the PSAs being offered.

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