Tobacco Free Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming (TF-GOW) and Reality Check invite youth ages 13-18 to participate in a contest aimed at shining a spotlight on the tobacco industry’s use of smoking imagery on screen to normalize and glamorize tobacco use. The statewide winning video will be highlighted on the Reality Check and Tobacco-Free New York websites and promoted through social media.
As reported by The University of California San Francisco’s in its Smoke-Free Media ‘What is Hollywood Hiding from Parents Action Toolkit:
“Big Tobacco secretly bought its way on screen for decades. The U.S. entertainment industry still refuses to give parents and audiences advance warning before exposing kids to tobacco imagery that is proven to recruit millions of new young smokers and kill them as adults. Tobacco on screen is the single biggest media risk to children and teens. Hollywood has known of the danger since at least 2003. Yet movie studios and TV producers have never updated their rating systems to even mention smoking or tobacco. They are concealing toxic content. Ratings, warnings, and TV parental controls all need to be reinforced to stop tobacco addiction from trapping another generation. With the streaming revolution now underway, it’s easier than ever for kids to watch movies and TV shows packed with toxic tobacco content. And, the more young people see smoking on screen, the more likely they are to start smoking."
Create a 60-second video exposing the tobacco industry’s manipulative tactics within the entertainment industry. Show how tobacco imagery is used to promote and glamorize smoking and e-cigarette use. Judging will be based on quality, creativity and effectiveness, and accuracy of messages. Each video must have the following key facts and a minimum of one key statement from the following:
1. Youth who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke. (US Surgeon General)
2. It is projected that on-screen smoking will kill two million U.S. children and teens alive today. (US Center for Disease Control)
3. R-rating future movies with smoking would reduce the youth smoking rate in the United States by 18%. (US Center for Disease Control)
· One little letter could save a million lives. Rate smoking R.
· Protect youth from on-screen exposure to tobacco.
· Smoking in movies kills in real life.
Video submissions are due February 9, 2022. One video will be recognized as the statewide winner. This video will live on www.realitycheckofny.com
and highlight the issue through the lens of New York State youth. Four regional winning videos will also be awarded and recognized at the regional level. All winners will be announced on March 9, 2022 as part of the New York Tobacco Control Program’s annual Statewide Legislative Education Day. All awards will be recognized at regional press events (dates and locations to be determined) and promoted through local media outlets. All youth participating in the contest will receive a Reality Check Swag Bag.