Welcome to the Department of Justice, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller

For immediate release -- Thursday, September 7, 2006.

Contact Bob Brammer -- 515-281-6699.

Miller and AGs Provide Hollywood with Anti-Smoking Ads for DVDs and Videos

DES MOINES.   Attorney General Tom Miller and a total of 41 state attorneys general are urging Hollywood's major motion picture studios to insert anti-smoking public service announcements in all DVDs, videos and other home viewing movie formats that depict smoking.

The Attorneys General wrote to the CEOs of ten studios and sent each studio three powerful truth® anti-smoking campaign messages that were created by the American Legacy Foundation. The AGs said the PSA ads are available at no cost for unlimited use by the studios. [Click here for a copy of the AGs' letter to studios.]

"Hollywood can make a huge difference in preventing youth from taking up tobacco," Miller said, "and that's when most smokers get hooked. Studies show that smoking depicted in movies accounts for hundreds of thousands of kids taking up smoking each year," he said.

"We continue to urge movie-makers to eliminate tobacco brand name appearances and prevent youth exposure to depictions of smoking, but there's another effective step they can take right now -- putting anti-smoking PSAs on movies that depict smoking," he said.

"We cite strong evidence that such messages are a simple, powerful preventive measure the studios can take, without any possible impact on the creative process of film-making."

The three truth® commercials are titled "Body Bags," "1200," and "Shards O' Glass." [Click here to see the three PSA commercials.] They are in-your-face, hard-hitting ads proven effective with teens. The ads provide facts and encourage informed decisions about whether to smoke. "Shards o' Glass" appeared on the 2004 Super Bowl broadcast. All the ads have been highly rated.

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The Attorney Generals' letter was sent to the CEOs of Paramount Pictures, The Walt Disney Company, Miramax Films, DreamWorks SKG, Sony Pictures Entertainment, MGM Pictures, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers Studios, Fox Filmed Entertainment, and New Line Cinema. The letter was also sent to the CEOs of three independent studios: Lionsgate, MTV Network and The Weinstein Company. The letter was dated and sent Sept. 5 to the studios via overnight mail.

The new letter was signed by the Attorney Generals of AK, AZ, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, HI, ID, IL, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MA, MD, MN, MT, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, Northern Mariana Islands, OH, OK, OR, PA, PR, RI, SD, TN, UT, VT, VI, WA, WV, WI, and WY.

Providing studios with anti-smoking ads for DVD and video movies is part of a concerted effort by attorneys general to enlist Hollywood's help to reduce youth smoking. The AGs earlier asked the studios to reduce depictions of smoking and tobacco brand appearances in movies, citing a Dartmouth Medical School study finding that a reduction of the prevalence of cigarette smoking depictions in movies could drastically reduce the initiation of smoking by youth.

Last November, a total of 32 AGs asked the studios to insert anti-smoking messages on movies that depict smoking. The studios never responded to the Attorneys Generals' letters. Instead, Motion Picture Association of America President Dan Glickman wrote to the Attorneys General that only the individual companies could decide whether to run PSAs on DVDs or videos and that the industry would consider PSAs as one possible idea in an overall anti-smoking campaign effort. To date, the Attorneys General have received no further indication from the studios or the MPAA of progress on an anti-smoking PSA effort.

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