Michigan Attorney Gen. Nessel joins coalition to protect young people from tobacco imagery

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Oct. 7 that she has joined a coalition of attorneys general who is asking the creative community to take action to eliminate tobacco imagery from streamed movies and programs as an effort to protect young viewers.

The coalition, formed last year, sent a letter to five Hollywood creative guilds as part of an effort to reduce youth exposure to tobacco, urging them to limit tobacco imagery in their video content. The attorneys general said that gaining the assistance and support would help stop the normalization and glamorization of tobacco use.

“The statistics across our nation and right here in Michigan very clearly demonstrate that youth vaping is not something we can turn a blind eye to. Across counties in Michigan last year, our state witnessed between a 30 percent and 118 percent increase in e-cigarette use among high school students. This increase is substantial and alarming and will require all hands on deck to change it,” said Nessel. “My colleagues and I encourage the creative guilds to join this very important dialogue to ensure our youth across this nation are protected from the influences of tobacco use.”

In letters sent to the Directors Guild of America, Producers Guild of America, Screenwriters Guild of America, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the attorneys general asked the guilds to use their influence to depict tobacco imagery more responsibly and encourage streaming companies to adopt a practice that steers young viewers away from tobacco imagery content; to only recommend and promote tobacco-free titles to children and families; to mitigate the impact of watching tobacco imagery by running anti-tobacco spots and displaying tobacco-use warnings; and to offer parental controls so that families are empowered to choose tobacco-free content.

Liz Carey

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