An anti-smoking ad produced by the California Department of Public Health will be seen by millions of viewers beginning today with the release of the DVD of the motion picture "21" by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.
The ad will appear as part of an unprecedented agreement earlier this month between Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the California Health and Human Services Agency, the California Department of Public Health, the Entertainment Industry Foundation and six major Hollywood studios to help protect children around the nation from tobacco use.
“Beginning with the release of “21” we are dramatically extending the reach of our successful anti-smoking ads at no additional cost to taxpayers,” said Dr. Mark Horton, Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). “The agreement, reached with major motion pictures studios earlier this month to run California’s anti-smoking ads before youth-rated films that contain smoking, is a significant step forward in our efforts to reduce the use of tobacco.”
Under the agreement, Sony Pictures, Universal Studios, Time Warner, Paramount Pictures, Walt Disney Studios and Twentieth Century Fox will place California's anti-smoking ads in the opening minutes of DVDs of all new movies with tobacco use that are rated G, PG and PG-13.
The studios will begin using four anti-tobacco ads, "Icons," "Bubbles," "Programmed," and "Daddy's Tape." The first ad to be released, "Icons," contrasts tobacco industry images of a cowboy, a hip-hop DJ and a twenties-era flapper with a more accurate depiction of the repercussions of smoking: a dying man in a wheelchair who warns, "The reality is you can end up looking like this."
California's Tobacco Control program is one of the nation's longest running and most emulated anti-tobacco programs, credited with helping reduce smoking by more than 33 percent and significantly reducing lung cancer rates in California since its inception in 1989. The statewide media campaign has relied on three primary strategies: countering pro-tobacco messages, promoting smoking cessation and educating people about the dangers of second-hand smoke. More information can be found at www.TobaccoFreeCa.com.