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Disney stubs out its last cigarette

The Walt Disney Co. says it will kick the cinematic smoking habit.
It also said it would “discourage” (though not ban) lighting up in the more adult movies made by its Touchstone and Miramax labels.
“A villain can be bad without smoking,” Disney Chief Executive Robert A. Iger said yesterday. “Heroes can be cool without smoking.”
Disney’s move follows Universal Pictures, which initiated a policy in April aimed at reducing or eliminating smoking by characters in films rated for young people.
Research by the Dartmouth Medical School found that 74% of over 500 recent box-office hits, many of them rated PG-13, contained smoking. The study also found that German teenagers who had seen a lot of smoking in Hollywood movies were nearly twice as likely to take up smoking as those who hadn’t.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

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