Smoking in films to get automatic 18 rating?

According to research published by Thorax, films that show smoking should be automatically rated an 18. A study of more than 5,000 adolescents found that 15-year-olds who saw the most films showing actors smoking were 73% more likely to have tried it than those who had seen the fewest.


Won’t somebody please, please think of the children?! If we do this, surely it will destroy their souls as their lives will be devoid of any of the following Disney classics…

Now, I’m a non-smoker and I was exposed to all of the above whilst I was but a young and impressionable little idiot. I’m happy to say I never even tried a cigarette, although that’s not to say I don’t enjoy watching one being puffed (erm, hello Pulp Fiction!). Films are supposed to add a touch of glamour to the unglamorous; look at any sex scene in a romantic comedy and tell me different!

On a similar note, surely it shouldn’t matter if a film depicts a smoker looking ‘cool’; it should be about whether or not it shows underage children puffing away on their deathsticks and making THAT seem acceptable. Otherwise we’ll have to stick an 18 rating on anything that shows activities anyone under the age of 18 can’t legally partake in; driving (goodbye Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), marriage (adieu to The Sound Of Music), breaking and entering (The Goonies are outta here!), skipping school (sayonara Ferris Bueller) and drinking (so long Beauty And The Beast).

Do you think films that depict smoking should receive an automatic 18 rating or do you think this is a big case of pen-pushing gone mad? Tell us. We’re actually interested…

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