Here it is:
An article in the Boston Globe.
I would be incensed (pun intended), but I’ve come to expect it.
The MPAA has passed guidelines saying that smoking will now affect the ratings (G, PG, PG-13, R) that it gives movies. (It doesn’t say how it will affect it, just that it will.)
I don’t smoke (the primary reason being that I have no particular desire to and I’m under the legal age). But I always get irritated when I see people moving to curtail smoking – laws saying you can’t smoke in public places, that you can’t smoke in private restaurants, and now that smoking can’t be portrayed in movies without it somehow making it inappropriate for younger viewers. This is for the same reason that I don’t like laws requiring seatbelts to be worn, or the laws that alcohol can’t be bought until you’re 21 – if you’re a legal adult, you should be able to buy what you want unless the product itself is illegal (btw, I don’t drink either). It’s simply none of the government’s business – or, in this case, the MPAA’s.
If people want to take risky behavior, it must be because they think the tradeoff is worth it – and, if that decision isn’t hurting anybody else, the government should respect that decision. And the MPAA shouldn’t interfere with the art of film making by decreeing that showing people smoking in movies is somehow bad, or that people under a certain age are somehow unable to handle seeing someone smoke on-screen.
In fact, I’m probably going to start smoking just to spite all of these anti-smoking nuts. That’ll show them. Yeah! Uh… yeah.