Newswire: Judge says characters in PG movies can smoke ‘em if they’ve got ‘em

Tobacco-addicted movie characters across the land can wheeze a sigh of relief. A U.S. District Court has ruled that the MPAA is within its free speech rights to grant PG-13, PG, and even G ratings to movies containing tobacco use. The ruling, delivered by Judge Richard Seeborg, comes in a response to a $20 million lawsuit filed by a disgruntled parent against the MPAA and the National Association Of Theatre Owners. Timothy Forsyth was appalled when he took his sons, 11 and 12, to a PG-13 movie only to find it contained “tobacco imagery.” He felt that this should qualify the film for a mandatory R. The court, however, did not agree. The MPAA says it is “pleased” with the ruling, though tobacco use will remain a factor in determining a movie’s rating.

Forsyth’s argument, although unsuccessful, has some data to back it up. Both the Surgeon …

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