Walt Disney on Wednesday became the first major Hollywood studio to ban depictions of smoking, saying there would be no smoking in its family-oriented, Disney-branded films and it would "discourage" it in films distributed by its Touchstone and Miramax labels.
Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger also said in a letter to U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), whose committee last month held hearings on the effects of movie images on children, that the studio would place anti-smoking public service announcements on DVDs of any future films that feature cigarette smoking.
He said the company would encourage theater owners to screen anti-smoking public service announcements, or PSAs, before such films.
Iger cautioned, however, that "cigarette smoking is a unique problem and this PSA effort is not a precedent for any other issue."
Markey described Disney's commitment as "groundbreaking," and urged other studios to follow suit.