The Association believes that concerns occasionally voiced about the depiction of smoking in films are misplaced.
A number of pressure groups have expressed fears that some scenes in films serve to glamorise smoking as an activity, in particular for young people. As a result it has occasionally been suggested that, when shown in a cinema, such films should receive a more restrictive classification than would otherwise be the case.
Such proposals are both misguided and unworkable.
British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) guidelines already allow the potential impact of scenes of smoking on audiences to be taken into account when deciding on a film certificate. And any approach which sought to impose ‘18’ certificates for such scenes – as has been suggested – would requiring classics such as Casablanca or Now, Voyager to be restricted to adult-only audiences.
The Association and its members of course recognise the importance of health living. The UK sector took the lead in providing a smoke-free environment; in the vast majority of cases, cinemas were non-smoking environments for a significant number of years prior to the 2007 legislation covering smoking in public places.