(Phoenix, Ariz. – Oct. 24, 2006) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that the Weinstein Company will insert anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) on its DVDs where smoking is depicted. Responding to a written request last month from 41 state Attorneys General, The Weinstein Company becomes the first motion picture company to insert an anti-smoking message.
The PSA, produced by the American Legacy Foundation, will appear with the December 2006 release of “Clerks II.”
“The Weinstein's heard our message, and we applaud their company for leading the way to deter young movie viewers from smoking,” Goddard said. “This is an important first step to providing meaningful protection for our children.”
The request to movie companies offered free use of teen-targeted anti-smoking PSAs developed by the American Legacy Foundation for its truth® campaign.
The campaign was created in connection with the 1998 settlement of the states' tobacco litigation against the major tobacco companies.
“We are very proud to be the first to sign onto this important initiative,” said Bob and Harvey Weinstein. "The Attorneys General made a very sensible request, and we think the concept has a lot of merit. Hopefully, our decision to move forward will make other studios reconsider the idea.”
“As a former smoker, I feel like it’s my responsibility to do everything I can to educate young people about the dangers of smoking. We really hope this initiative will have an impact with viewers across the country,” added Harvey Weinstein.
“Our hope is that the Weinsteins’ bold move sets a trend with other decision-makers in Hollywood. It is a simple way to prevent thousands of youth from smoking and can ultimately reduce tobacco addiction and premature death," stated Dr. Cheryl G. Healton, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Legacy Foundation.
Tobacco remains the number one preventable cause of death in the United States and 80 percent of adult smokers begin before age 18. Research has shown that teens are strongly influenced by seeing actors they admire smoke on screen.