As part of International Week of Action for Smoke-Free Movies, the Reality Check program serving Onondaga, Cayuga, and Oswego counties is hosting two free smoke-free movie events. Reality Check is a statewide youth program empowering youth to stand up against the tobacco and e-cigarette industry. The Reality Check and Tobacco-Free CNY program work to engage local stakeholders, educate community leaders and the public, and mobilize community members and organizations to strengthen tobacco and e-cigarette policies that prevent and reduce tobacco and vape use. Efforts also focus on reducing youth exposure to harmful tobacco and e-cigarette marketing in retail settings, limiting exposure to secondhand smoke, and reducing smoking imagery in the media.
International Week of Action is held each year around the same time as the Academy Awards to draw attention to the youth that start smoking due to the images of tobacco use in movies. It’s time for major Hollywood studios to stop putting tobacco use in movies that kids see the most. The smoke-free movie events will be held on:
- Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 9:30 AM at the Hollywood Theater, located on 2221 Brewerton Road, Syracuse, NY 13211, featuring Secret Life of Pets 2.
- Saturday, February 29, 2020 at 9:30 AM at the Oswego Cinema, located at 138 West Second Street, Oswego, NY 13126, featuring the movie Sing.
Doors open at 9:00 AM and the first 100 people in attendance at each event will receive a free popcorn and drink combo. Reality Check youth will be collecting signatures of support before and after the movie, urging the Motion Picture Association to give movies that show tobacco and e-cigarette imagery an “R” rating. There will also be educational resources, games, and a raffle for a prize pack from the Tobacco-Free CNY and Reality Check programs.
According to the U.S. Surgeon General, exposure to smoking in movies increases the risk that young people will start smoking. Giving movies with tobacco use an R-rating would lead to an 18% reduction in youth smoking and would eliminate 1 million tobacco-related deaths among today’s children and teens. Images of any type of tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, have been shown to influence viewers; especially youth. In New York State, nearly 40% of 12th graders use e-cigarettes. Vaping is causing a new generation to be addicted to nicotine, and youth who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to go on to smoke cigarettes than their non-vaping peers.
For more information about Reality Check and Tobacco-Free CNY programs, contact 315.435.3280.