Disney snuffing out smoking in its films

Los Angeles – Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Walt Disney Co. will be the first major Hollywood studio to ban smoking in its Disney-branded films and curb smoking depictions in the company's Touchstone and Miramax films, the company said Wednesday.

Also, Burbank-based Disney stated that any film from Disney that will have smoking will have an anti-smoking public service announcement included on DVD releases, and the company is working with theater owners to include a similar announcement before theatrical screenings.

The anti-smoking initiative was announced in a letter from CEO Robert Iger to Republican Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee. Markey recently has held hearings on images of smoking in entertainment, and how those images impact young children.

"The Walt Disney Company shares your concern regarding deaths due to cigarette smoking. We discourage depictions of cigarette smoking in Disney, Touchstone and Miramax films. In particular, we expect that depictions of cigarette smoking in future Disney branded films will be non-existent," the letter stated.

Markey replied in a statement that the Disney initiative is "groundbreaking."

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