Smoking in Movies Accounts for Nearly Half of All Smoking

December 22, 2012 at 8:57 PM 1 comment

Really?  According to American Academy of Pediatrics, the title of this article is a true statement.  In fact, it is part of their findings; their research.  They go so far as to state, “There is a lot of research that shows the link between smoking in TV or movies and in children.” [1]  That’s remarkable, isn’t it?  So what we are being told is that when movies show people smoking, or using tobacco, or even having tobacco products in scenes in movies, young children – because they are impressionable – find their curiosity piqued and are more likely to take up the habit of smoking than if they only watched movies that did not have characters smoking or did not have tobacco products in them.

Do you find that difficult to believe?  Seems like a lot of hullabaloo over nothing, doesn’t it?  Then, please go the URL listed below this article.  Moreover, I have copied links that the American Academy of Pediatrics lists on their own website as well.  Please, check them out.  Educate yourself on what the American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded and has provided the research to back their claims.

When I was much younger, both of my parents smoked and they had been smoking for a while.  Do you know why?  They told me it was because their favorite movie actors smoked.  People like Humphrey Bogart, Clark Gable, and many others.  Smoking was a staple of the movie industry back then, long before anyone knew of the dangers of it.  Moreover, most celebs smoked filterless cigarettes, which attributed to their short lives and ill-health.

So, the movie industry has been pressured for some time now to reduce the presence of cigarettes and/or tobacco products in movies especially aimed at young people.  Why?  Because young people are more easily pressured into starting smoking because it seems “cool,” or because their favorite actor or actress smokes.  This is true even today, which is why the American Academy of Pediatrics wants smoking virtually eliminated in movies that are designed for younger audiences.

Tell me…if we know that young people are impressionable and that the medical profession is concerned about young people beginning to see smoking as something that they find attractive, why is this same logic not applied to the amount of violence and gore in movies?

Why is it when we discuss gore, violence, and “shoot ’em ups” in movies, no one bats an eye?  In fact, anyone who tries to discuss it is seen as a loon, or someone who is completely out of touch.  They are not taken seriously and in fact, they are often laughed at.

Yet, doctors are concerned enough about smoking to want to make it obsolete in movies that cater to young minds unless the smoking or use of tobacco is deliberately portrayed as evil.  They believe that since young people can be programmed to believe that smoking is good, portraying it that way will simply encourage them to start smoking.  Makes perfect sense to me.  Does it to you?  If not, then you are disagreeing with a number of very highly thought of groups in our society.  These are people from the medical profession.  Are you going to tell them they are out in left field?  Are you going to be the one to tell them that their research is flawed?

Yet, no one makes any type of correlation between gun play and the amount of sustained violence that has become the norm in many movies and video games that have come out of Hollywood.  So, we are to believe that children can literally be programmed to see smoking in a good light; good enough to want to start smoking themselves.  However, when it comes to extreme violence and gore by gun-wielding psychopaths, there is no reason to be concerned at all?  Apparently, we are to believe that these same young minds, while not being strong enough to disallow and ignore the way movies portray smoking as cool, or sexy, have absolutely no problem in separating themselves from the imagery that is foisted upon them that routinely portrays the “bad” guy as the “good,” and visa versa.  That makes absolutely no sense to me.

If women’s groups can come out in protest against movies that portray women as “sex objects” or worse and do so because they believe that it teaches young people that women are to be used and abused, then why is there not more concern about those movies that have unrelenting violence often at the end of a gun barrel?

There is something decidedly wrong about a society that believes smoking in movies needs to be curtailed because of the impact it has on impressionable young minds, or that sexism in movies needs to be drastically curtailed because it teaches these same young people that women are objects.  However, when the issue is violence (sometimes to the extreme), there is no need to be concerned at all because these same impressionable young minds are apparently not at all affected by the increase and level of violence in movies over the past few decades.

Years ago, it was enough to simply imply violence in a scene without actually showing it.  Think of the movie, “Psycho.”  Did the shower scene freak you out as it did millions of other people?  Probably and yet, virtually nothing was shown at all.  We never saw the large knife plunging into her chest.  We saw her facial expression and heard her scream, then we saw the bottom of the tub with the water running with some blood.

Today, nothing is left to the imagination at all.  Yet, we are to believe that young, impressionable minds are not affected by this blood-letting that goes from the beginning of the movie to the end?  Really?  But put cigarettes in the movie, and doctors become very concerned about that and the increased desire to smoke.

Something is wrong here.  Something is terribly wrong.  It’s with those who say that young people can be fed a steady diet of violence-soaked movies and games and not be affected at all.

When I was young, I grew up watching a steady diet of westerns.  My dad enjoyed them and so did I and was always amazed at the fights and the loud “cracking” sound made whenever one cowboy hit another and it didn’t matter where either!  One day, I decided on an experiment and it occurred rather at the spur of the moment too.

I was watching one of those old westerns – the kind that never even showed blood at all.  I got up to go to the bathroom just as a fight scene began.  My sister happened to walk into the room at the time so we were actually standing right next to each other watching the TV show.

On the spur of the moment, I balled up my fist and punched her in the stomach as hard as I could.  The only sound I heard was a very soft “thud” and then my sister began crying like there was no tomorrow.  I looked at my fist, then at the TV as the fight on the show continued.  I remember actually being a bit annoyed with my sister because the cowboys on the TV never cried.  Sheesh.

In my severe disappointment, my mother rushed in and wanted to know what had happened.  My sister stopped crying long enough to tell her that I had hit her and it went downhill from there, with it not ending well for me…when my father came home.

But I guess violence in movies has no ability to coerce young, impressionable minds into perpetrating their own violence, does it?  In truth, not all violence is bad.  Certainly, the well-deserved spanking I received from the hand of my father was good because it helped me realize that my sister should not be used to try out my experiments on.  Moreover, it taught me that there were consequences to my actions and those consequences did not feel good?

The amount of actual gratuitous violence in movies and games these days is stark!  In fact, it is absolutely mind-boggling, yet we are told that it does not really matter because young minds can see the difference and understand that what they see in movies and games is one thing, but it is not real.

I beg to differ.  At the very least, all of the violence in movies tends to desensitize people to the gruesome spectacle of extensive pain, gore, and violence leading to death.  I know of people who watch real and actual scenes of death and dismemberment on the Internet (beheadings, tortures, etc.) and laugh about it!  This is not the way a civilized person reacts to such extremes, yet it exists.

I seriously believe Hollywood needs to do some solid soul-searching.  I believe they are a leader in being responsible for the lack of respect that humanity has for one another.  The trash that comes out of Hollywood and the gaming industry is wholly without value, yet it persists and gets worse with each new release.  But no one cares.  No one is concerned.

Smoking?  Oh, take it away!  Get it out of the movies!  It’s evil!  It’s horrible and it will ruin yet another generation!  Remove it!  And so, we have more movies with less tobacco use in them, either good, bad, or gratuitous.

Violence?  Gore?  Over-the-top killing machines with blood-soaked movie screens and computer monitors?  No worries.  Relax, because young minds are not so easily affected!  Give these young people more credit than that, will you?

No.  No, I won’t.  If young minds are negatively impacted by seeing people smoke or use tobacco products to the point that they themselves may well begin to light up, that is something to be concerned about.  If they can be programmed to smoke, they can also be programmed to think nothing of becoming more violent because they have been fed a steady diet of it for decades.

I suggest that though many will disagree with me, until society is willing to look at the real source of the problem, the problem of violence will never be solved in our society.  It will remain with us and grow more problematic.

The other day, I was reading the remarks of a liberal on a social network site who apparently thought he was being exceedingly intelligent with his remarks.  He noted that at least the man in China who slashed and stabbed 20 young children and one adult did not kill anyone!  This was as opposed to the fact that nearly 30 young children and one adult (or more) were shot to death in Connecticut.

In my mind, both events are completely tragic!  Yes, no one so far in China has died, but the attempt was there and could have easily occurred.  Moreover, the young minds that experienced the attack will probably never be the same.  They are scarred.  To blithely say that “at least they were only stabbed” is too stupid even for a liberal.

The problem is that the source for both events is likely the same. Global society has become far more violent in the past few decades, at least seemingly.  What young people in various parts of this world have to live with and grow up seeing is more than most can stomach.  Those kids who survive take on the minds of soldiers at the young of age of 12, 13, 14, or so.  Violence does impact society, make no mistake.

For those who believe that no amount of violence in movies or games has any real effect on young minds, also are the same ones who believe that there is no God and they will never face Him in judgment.  If smoking can affect change in young people, anything that is repeatedly presented to them can do the same thing.

Men are depraved and need salvation.  Without salvation, there is no renewing of that person with a brand new creation.  Without that, the continued decline into further depravity is obvious.

Stupid people believe that by removing some of the tools or instruments that can inflict harm, we have removed the motivation for the crime.  Not so and the facts bear this out repeatedly.

Our government does not want us safe.  They want us to be controlled.  It’s what Hitler wanted and got.  It’s what every other dictatorship wanted and got.

Society has changed since I was a kid.  We played outside.  I was only allowed to watch so much TV.  I played football with my friends.  I built models in my room.  I would draw and color for enjoyment.  I went for walks and hikes and I rode my bike all over the place.  I did not plant my butt on the couch and rot my brain with hours of movies, nor was I glued to my computer monitor (that didn’t exist then) playing my favorite violent game hour after hour.

I spent time engaging with the world in real-time.  It’s way too easy to disassociate from society today and enter a world of your own.  Too many young people do it and too many young people become victims of it.

Taking away guns will not solve the problem.  Making them more difficult for law-abiding citizens will not deter the criminal.

I was listening to one of the more asinine comments made by Piers Morgan the other day who essentially said that our Founding Fathers never envisioned semi-automatic weapons and “assault” rifles when they wrote the 2nd Amendment.  Probably not, but I’m sure they also never envisioned computers and other high-tech imagery for creating books and other printed materials.

If we are going to say that we all need to go back to shooting muskets in order to be within the original mindset of our founders with respect to the 2nd Amendment and nothing else falls into that category, then the same needs to be extended to freedom of speech.

1st Amendment text:  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Now, what kind of printing press do you think the founder were thinking of when they wrote the 1st Amendment?

People need to wake up, but they won’t.  People need to realize their sin, but they won’t.  People need to start accepting responsibility for their own stupidity and lawlessness…but they won’t!

[1] http://www2.aap.org/richmondcenter/Smoke_freeMovies.html

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What is a Christian to Do? Illegal Drugs Often Equals Violent Crime

1 Comment

  • 1. Lester  |  January 7, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    I thought I’d leave a comment back here. When you watch old movies and TV shows everyone is smoking! Some young ones in my family are surprised at how much smoke they see in old flicks.I remember those days and I hated cigs but did it to fit in. Thank God I stopped in 1981 forever. I had an uncle that read his bible in a favorite chair smoking his pipe. In the early 60’s he was doing just that and dropped dead of a heart attack in that chair reading the bible.
    No one knew that tobacco was bad for the heart.


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