What Can Parents and Caregivers Do?
Join the fight for smoke-free movies! Currently, the movie rating system in Ontario doesn't include tobacco content as a rating factor. Help support a rating change in Ontario and make all new movies with tobacco imagery 18A.
Sign an Ontario Letter of Support. Send a letter to your MPP, the Ontario Minister of Consumer Services, critics for the Consumer Services, and the Ontario Film Review Board.
Change Movie Ratings - Save Lives!
What Else Can You Do?
Parents and caregivers can join Public Health Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Ontario Coalition for Smoke-Free Movies in the fight to protect children and teens from the impact of smoking in movies.
- Get informed about the evidence around smoking in movies and the impact exposures to smoking and tobacco use in movies can have on kids and teens.
- Be aware of what your kids are watching and learn which movies contain smoking. Information about tobacco content in new movie releases is provided every Thursday on the Smoke-Free Movies webpage - click on the “Now Playing” tab.
- Talk with your children about tobacco use in movies and teach them how to be media aware. If your child does watch a movie that contains smoking, be sure to counter this exposure by talking to him/her about the health risks associated with tobacco use.
- Send an Ontario Letter of Support to your local MPP, the Ontario Government and the Ontario Film Review Board.
- Request a rating change by sending an “Inquiry, Comment or Complaint” form to the Ontario Film Review Board.
- Send a selfie in support of an 18A rating using the hashtag #SmokeFreeMovies. Send it to the Ontario Film Review Board Chair: @ofrb_chair, the Minister of Consumer Affairs: @mflalonde, Hooked by Hollywood: @hookedhollywood and your local MPP twitter account!
- Spread the word to other parents and caregivers through newsletters, letters to the editor, and discuss the issue of smoking in movies on Facebook and Twitter. Remember to use the hashtag #SmokeFreeMovies.
- E-mail a letter to the Ontario Film Review Board to express your concerns about a youth-rated movie with tobacco, and support an 18A rating: OFRB@ontariofilmauthority.ca (cc your local MPP & Minister of Consumer Affairs).
- Mail a letter to the Ontario Film Review Board to express concerns about a youth-rated movie with tobacco and support an 18A rating. Ontario Film Review Board, 4950 Yonge Street, Suite 101B, Toronto, M2N 6K1.
- Request that public library video collections clearly label their movies that contain tobacco use and include a warning about the risks of smoking in movies.
- Write letters to Canadian theatre executives about the impact that smoking in movies has on children and youth. Urge them to counter tobacco images in movies by placing effective and strong anti-tobacco messages (at distributor’s and exhibitor’s expense) before movies that depict tobacco images.
- Write letters to federal and provincial ministries that administer film subsidies and request that all G, PG, or 14A rated films with tobacco images are ineligible for public subsidies.
- Sign the Global Petition to keep smoking out of child-rated movies!
Tell Them Your Selfie Campaign
Show your support for a change to the movie rating system by sharing a selfie with your social media network. The goal of the campaign is to educate and engage parents, caregivers and the public, and show Hollywood that families and friends everywhere want smoking out of the movies that kids see most. Mention the Ontario Film Review Board (@ofrb_chair) in your post to show them you want movies to be safe for kids - make all new movies with tobacco imagery 18A!
5 simple steps to participate:
Take your selfie photo with the sign.
Share the photo online using your social media accounts - Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Use the hashtags #RateSmoking18 and #SmokeFreeMovies to promote the campaign.
Be sure to mention the Ontario Film Review Board (@ofrb_chair) and the Minister of Consumer Affairs (@mflalonde) in your post to show them your support for change. Share your selfie with @MLHealthUnit and your local MPP on Twitter.
- Download and print one of the #RateSmoking18 signs below.
International Week of Action for Smoke-Free Movies
The International Week of Action for Smoke-Free Movies is used by a number of organizations across the world to raise awareness about the issue of smoking in movies and its negative impacts on young people. The week comes to an end on the eve of the Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars.
Last year, over 130 youth from Ontario and the U.S., including 10 youth from London and Middlesex County, joined forces at Toronto City Hall to call for a change to the movie rating system.
Smoke-Free Movie Nights
The Middlesex-London Health Unit has hosted outdoor movie nights in Victoria Park and Strathroy’s Fairgrounds Aquatic Park since 2012. The goal of the movie nights is to raise awareness among parents and caregivers about the issue of smoking in movies, and to promote ways they can protect kids and teens from the risks associated with exposure to tobacco imagery in movies.
Last year, approximately 3000 people were in attendance at the Victoria Park Smoke-Free Movie Night. This year may prove to be even more successful – watch for event posters in late summer!