The Motion Picture Association of America announced a new tobacco taboo yesterday - and said “pervasive” or “glamorized” smoking in a film could lead to an R-rating.
In effect, lighting up will now be viewed the same as sex, nudity, violence, cursing and drug use.
“Now, all smoking will be a consideration in the rating process,” said Dan Glickman, chairman of the MPAA, which assigns ratings to films distributed in the United States.
In recent years, anti-smoking advocates have called for an automatic R rating for nearly any film that shows smoking.
At least one well-known star - a nonsmoker who said he hated having to smoke for some of his roles - was not happy about the move.
“I have a problem with censorship,” Ryan O’Neal told The Post.
Critics have long said Hollywood glamorizes smoking and movies encourage young people to puff away. Current PG-13 movies, like the “The Invisible” and “Blades of Glory,” promote smoking, according to a University of California study.
And last month, 32 state attorneys general called for smoking scenes to generate R ratings.
The MPAA stopped short of an automatic R, but Glickman said smoking will be reviewed “among many other factors, including violence, sexual situations and language, in the rating of films.”
The association will also consider whether it’s artistically necessary to have characters smoke.
New film-rating descriptions will include the phrases “glamorized smoking” or “pervasive smoking.”
The Directors Guild of America said it was OK with the new guidelines, praising the “delicate balance between addressing important health concerns and safeguarding free expression.”
Cigarette manufacturer Philip Morris said it supports the move.
“We think that the decision should help parents decide which films they allow their children to view,” said a company spokesman.
Christopher Buckley, who wrote the novel that inspired the satirical film “Thank You for Smoking” said, “I can only hope this means that the MPAA will strip such films as ‘Casablanca’ . . . of their G ratings and relabel them for what they were: insidious works of prosmoking propaganda that led to millions of . . . deaths.”