Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr. has asked the president of the Motion Picture Association of America to reduce the number of images of smoking in movies, in an effort to deter children from smoking.
Curran wrote a letter to association President Jack Valenti, signed by 24 other attorneys general, asking that the industry move from "being a source of the problem to being recognized as a critically important force in solving the nation's deadly problem of youth smoking."
Curran's letter follows a June study from Dartmouth Medical School researchers showing that children ages 10 to 14 who were exposed to the most smoking in movies were almost three times more likely to start smoking than children who saw the least smoking.
MPAA spokesman Rich Taylor said Valenti had received the letter and would respond appropriately. "Smoking is, if you'll recall, a legal activity," he said, when asked what the MPAA was doing to reduce teen smoking.