The increase in tobacco use among adolescents has made the World Health Organization to emphasize stricter rules on movie ratings.
It has published a report called "Smoke-Free Movies" that states that movies showing the use of tobacco products have enticed millions of young people worldwide to start smoking. It said that these films must be given adult ratings.
"With ever tighter restrictions on tobacco advertising, film remains one of the last channels exposing millions of adolescents to smoking imagery without restrictions," said Dr. Douglas Bettcher, WHO's Director of the Department of Prevention of Noncommunicable Diseases.
"Smoking in films can be a strong form of promotion for tobacco products. The 180 Parties to the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (WHO FCTC) are obliged by international law to ban tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship," adds Dr. Bettcher.
Dr. Armando Peruga, the program manager of WHO's Tobacco-Free Initiative, said "Countries around the world have taken steps to limit tobacco imagery in films. China has ordered that 'excessive' smoking scenes should not be shown in films. India has implemented new rules on tobacco imagery and brand display in domestic and imported films and TV programs. But more can and must be done."