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Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016

Smoke issue clouds movie rating plan

Thursday, March 14, 2002

"Now the health police want a film rated according to tobacco usage as well"

There should be a warning label against health advocates - those do-gooders who want to impose their standards on others. It matters little to me if the health advocates are right. Hell, we all know by now that cigarette smoking is bad for you and that too much alcohol will make for silly mistakes. I'm not at all certain that we need to be bashed over the head with these constant, grinding reminders that Americans are eroding their health through lifestyle choices.

Now the health and environmental zealots want Hollywood to include tobacco use in films as part of their ratings system. Ratings of films are currently based on violence, nudity, language, drug abuse and other elements that determine if the film is acceptable to a younger audience. Now the health police want a film rated according to tobacco usage as well. Just when will this madness stop?

OK let's look at it this way. Obesity is reportedly the second most dangerous health issue facing American society. So do the advocates propose that films with overweight stars incorporate a warning to viewers against the risks of being overweight? Or let's be truly absurd. A new report out Wednesday says the American water supply is being threatened by the health and beauty aids we use like shampoo and perfumes. So should films be rated to warn viewers against the perils of using deodorant or perfume?

If some crack dealer in the latest Bruce Willis movie lights a cigarette, should I be warned that this behavior is detrimental to my health? And if I'm warned, does it make one lick of difference on how I conduct my personal habits? We can be just as absurd as we want.

Violence, nudity and language are important issues in making a film selection for youngsters. I'm not at all certain that including tobacco usage in that calculation will make any difference whatsoever. So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

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