Should Smoking Trigger an R Rating?

Updated on July 10, 2012
S.K. asks from Castle Rock, CO
17 answers

I just read the artilce about if someone is smoking it automatically gets an R rating to reduce temptation in our youth. I posted the link in the what happened. I think its ridiculous. How much can we shelter our kids now adays?????

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answers from Chicago on

I don't think so. I think PG should be adequate for that, as it is quite simple for a parent to discuss the bad health effects of smoking. My 5 yr old has known for a few years that smoking is unhealthy, and whenever he sees it happening he makes remarks about how it is not good. He gets it.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think it is a great idea. What will happen is film companies will take the smoking out of movies (unless it actually is necessary for the plot) because the rating really matters to them. There is NO benefit to kids seeing smoking glamorized in movies or even seeing smoking as a 'normal' part of life. I wouldn't want them to see people shooting up as a gratuitous part of a movie (kids hang out at friend's house, just for fun movie throws in shooting up instead of talking on phone, playing games or making out - different from a movie about an addict where it would be an important part of the plot - also likely a movie for adults), so why would I want them to see smoking as a socially acceptable phenomenon. It's not.

Hey - I just agreed with 8KidsDad and sent him a flower. We never agree :)

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Boca Raton on

I think it's ridiculous too, and we are a fairly conservative homeschooling family.

If seeing someone smoking in a movie leads your child to smoke - you have bigger problems.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

How stupid.

My Mom smoked like a freakin' train when my brothers & I were growing up. Only one of us turned out to be a smoker. I've never even felt the urge to try a cigarette.

And I grew up in the 80s when even cartoons smoked.

Yeah, the over-sheltering thing is very annoying.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Salinas on

We watch movies from all eras and we are always surprised at how smoking is a given in nearly every pre-90's film.
My kids can't get over how poeple smoked in offices,restaurants, even in school in some of the classic films we watch.
My nine year old daughter's favorite movie is Paper Moon, released in the early 70's but set in the 40's. Tatum Oneal smokes through the whole film while playing an eight year old!
I would never deny my kids the fun and experience of a great film due to smoking. I think smoking is on it's way out, younger people don't seem to be as drawn to it as when I was a kid.
I'd rather they made a great movie with actors puffing through the whole thing than watch some of the junk in the theatres these days.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I think it should be PG13 for smoking, but not R. R should be extreme violence, gore or nudity or sexual content.

I think that parents still have to do their job of being parents vs friends, even if the films have an R or NC-17 rating. Ratings do not absolve people of parenting their children and discussing ANYTHING they do not agree with. Don't get me started on what's in G movies these days.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

No. I do not. There are still millions of people who are doing this walking down the street, waiting at the bus stop, sitting next to you at the public park, the neighbors in their front yard, etc...if we had them movie industry make all movies that have anyone smoking in them an automatic R rating then there would be some group that would say "I want an automatic R rating for any movie that has them eating fries because that is a health risk and teaches our children that it's okay to eat those nasty things." Then some other group would get on the band wagon and say the word Stupid would automatically pull an R rating, see? It would never end.

I think that, if used the correct way, our movie rating system should be sufficient. I truly believe it is a parents personal job to decide if the movie in question is appropriate for their child.

With my grand kids they pretty much watch all kinds of movies. I fought for a long time to keep my, then 4 years old, grandson from watching Nicholas Cage's Ghost Rider. He loved that movie and would sneak it out of the case then go put it in the DVD player in one of their rooms but in the middle of the night to hide it from us. He loved that movie. I finally said, he's seen it a dozen times now so I am not fighting it anymore. He watched it a couple of times past that point but not

I think kids hear bad language, they see partial nudity each and every time the go to the public pool, they are not going to be effected too much by the stuff in movies rated PG 7 or some of them even rated PG 13.

A few Good Men was rated R. We were at the theater waiting in line and some friends of ours had dropped off their kids to watch a movie. They were 10 or 11, maybe 12. They got tickets to see the R rated movie. I told the ticket sales person after they walked off they were underage and why didn't he ask for ID. He told me that the movie had very few scenes that were anywhere near violent and that the language was not anything more than what kids heard every day on the bus or at school.

He said that the Actors in the movie were afraid it would not be accepted as serious work if it did not have the r rating. He said it had less violence and bad language than a previous PG 13 movie had in it. So he was letting kids in to see it that he thought were old enough.

I later saw it and understood what he was saying.

So, censorship is sometimes a good thing but when we give someone else that power they can go overboard and not do the best for our situation. So I say we are the ones responsible for researching movies and finding out if it is something we want our kids to see.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

I was just reading this. I think if they feel the need to make movies with smokers rated R then anything with sex should be rated X.

I notice more drinking, sex and violence then smokers in most movies. And what about the old movies where there is no sex or violence? Should those be rated R too?

This country is so screwed up.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

That is ridiculous but to be honest, I don't really care. I haven't been to a movie theater in probably 10 years and have absolutely no plans to visit one any time soon.

If my GD happens to miss a good movie because it's got an R rating just because of smoking, again, I really don't care. There is enough alternative entertainment to not have to worry about R rated movies.

And if that is the case, then directors should not have any scenes with smoking if they want a G rating.

And you ask how much can we shelter our kids nowadays? Honey, the government is regulating absolutely EVERYTHING. I'm surprised we can breathe without reporting it to someone!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

They can rate them how ever they want to, but you're going to have a hard time watching the classics without noticing any smoking in them.
Casablanca is one of my favorites.
We love watching I Love Lucy on DVD - Philip Morris was a major sponsor.
We have the best of The Jack Benny Show on DVD - Lucky Strike was a sponsor.
Watching that show (they include the ads) - the marketing was shameless - you just don't see ads anything like them anymore.
They all smoked like chimneys back then.
Some people can watch and still understand it's not a healthy habit.
Other people will do any fool thing they think is popular no matter what it is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Sounds like a no brainer, right? But read the article. It actually makes sense. Kids are more likely to watch pg-13 movies without a parent there.

It's always the cool kids in movies that smoke. Every teen wants to be cool and may not have the decision making smarts. I was just watching "I think I love my wife" PG-13 There was a sexy hot temptress in a tight dress smoking. She was the bad girl. Put her next to the frumpy lady housewife and the man was powerless. I don't smoke, but that lady sure made it look sexy.

Personally, I've always wondered why nudity is an automatic R, but bloody violence can be PG-13.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I think it has been a hundred years since I saw a movie with people smoking so maybe if it is a rule it is just outdated?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Missoula on


I grew up with smoking in my house, and I never grew up to be a smoker... I'm pretty sure that my parent's influence would have been stronger than movies...

It's not like teens go to movies, and say ZOMG!!! THT GYE IN TEH BCKGRND IZ SMOOKIN! NOW I WNT 2!!!! Most of the time, it isn't even noticed.

Kids are going to see smoking EVERYWHERE... it's a part of life. Are they going to have to start putting black censor bars over smoking areas so that kids won't be able to see that either?

Ridiculous. I can understand the excessive language, or sex scenes because that is something that forms the ESSENCE of the movie... a smoking scene in the background, or the main character even smoking, is NOT a big deal.

That is when it is up to the PARENTS to actually teach their child what is acceptable, or for adults only..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, it should trigger an "R" rating. Kids see their favorite actor or actress smoking and they see other adults smoking and they think its the thing adults do and so they begin smoking and get addicted.

No adult should be smoking and no one should have started after the 1965 warning about smoking causing cancer. But kids did.

Keeping smoking off the screen is just another way to protect our kids from getting cancer and other awful diseases.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Wow. If smoking is R rated in a movie, I guess all of our children's lives lives are R rated (my daughter sees a cigarette butt and goes --ooohhhhh - littering). When moms post the uncomfortable experience of their children waling in while having sex, I guess their lives are X rates? Thankfully my daughter hasn't seen my X rated life!! Even thought she wants a sibling.

Sleeping Beauty and Pinnochio have characters getting drunk. Shoud we rate those PG 50 years after the fact?

I totally agree - sheltering. Why can't we use things as a learning experience? I mean - who hasn't seen Tangled? Maybe some kids need to be taught not to hit others with a frying pan? **sarcasm**


answers from Erie on

I suppose it's necessary if parents aren't watching what their kids are watching, if they care that much that the children never see it, and they would rather depend on regulation by an entertainment industry to pretend something doesn't exist, instead of being parents and having conversations about it. Sure, under those circumstances, how could I disagree with the R rating?


answers from Washington DC on


If the Fbomb is dropped like a comma - it should get an "R" rating.

Smoking? no.

Sex. yes. but heck - look at the way some girls dress and you wonder what street they are going to go walk down for tricks. There are times when I wonder - why on earth would a parent let their CHILD (even if a Teen) dress like THAT???? then I look around and see that we're not allowed to prohibit Johnny's esteem or tell them no because it will injure their chia - and parents don't want to parent - they want to be friends...

what about drinking alcohol?

Where will it stop? Parents MUST get involved in their kids lives. PERIOD. Watch what they are watching. TALK WITH THEM!!! What a concept!!

I think we should start including morals and values back in our movies and in our HOME LIFE!!! Wouldn't that be a concept?!?!? Teach our children to be responsible? Teach our children to be respectful?

Any way - my answer is no. Just because someone smokes it shouldn't be an automatic "R" rating.

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