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The New Puritans

NOON -- We sometimes long for the good ol' days of the Hayes Office, when all we had to fear was sex and communism... CNN.com reports on the new bluenose obsession:

    The American Medical Association Alliance, pointing to research that big-screen smoking leads teens to pick up the tobacco habit, called for an R rating for any movie with smoking scenes...
Ready for the horse-exhaust "science"? Here it is:

    "Research has shown that one-third to one-half of all young smokers in the United States can be attributed to smoking these youth see in movies," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, head of the Los Angeles County Public Health Department...

    American Medical Association Alliance President Sandi Frost used as her chief example of a movie with "gratuitous smoking" this month's blockbuster "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," which was rated PG-13 "for intense sequences of action and violence, and some partial nudity..."

    The American Medical Association Alliance, hoping to draw studio executives' attention, hired a mobile billboard to drive around the major studios this week.

    "The billboard shows a teenage girl asking the question, 'Which movie studios will cause me to smoke this summer?' " Frost said.


And which movie studio will cause me to decapitate my enemies?

There's more tobacco fear-mongering from The Age.com:

    KRUSTY the Clown might have a pacemaker, and Selma and Patty raspy voices, but that doesn't mean children will be repelled by the cigarettes hanging out of their mouths on The Simpsons.

    A study of the US cartoon - rated one of the most popular TV shows in history - has raised concern that a high incidence of smoking among the characters might encourage young viewers to pick up the habit.
Forget Mae West. Patty and Selma are the new temptresses.

— Larry, Attack Monkey, Light Reading

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