Films showing smoking to be given 18 certificate

How far would you go to prevent underage smoking? One council in Plymouth, Devon, plans to change the age certification of any film that depicts smoking so that kids will not be influenced by Hollywood actors smoking the evil weed.

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The local council in Plymouth has the power to change the certification of films and they believe that not letting children see images of actors smoking cigarettes would help cut down the number of underage smokers in their area.

The national average number of smokers is 21 per cent. However, NHS figures show that Plymouth has an average of 27 per cent of adults who smoke and 63 per cent of children in the area are smoking by age 16. And in the more deprived areas, a whopping 54 per cent of adults smoke.

Russ Moody, manager of Plymouth NHS Stop Smoking Service, said: "This is about shaping the culture that surrounds the use of tobacco.

"Once people understand why we are doing it - to protect young people and highlight the dangers associated with smoking - on the whole, most people are compliant.

"The driving force behind the long-term strategy is protection of young people.

"Whether we go down the legislation route or not, we want there to be public health campaigns and health education campaigns to try and move public perception and acceptance of smoking."

Plymouth council is jointly running a Tobacco Control Strategy with the NHS. As well as their plans to change film certificates, they are also handing out nicotine patches at schools. Future plans include banning smoking at outdoor public events and also smoking in cars when children are present.

What do you think? Will making films depicting smoking 18s stop kids from smoking? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.