The Weinstein Company to Add Anti-Smoking Public Service Announcements to Newest DVD Release

Attorney Danberg announced today that The Weinstein Company is the first motion picture company to insert anti-smoking public service announcements (PSAs) in DVDs in which smoking is depicted. The Weinstein Company was responding to a September 2006 letter to Hollywood’s 13 major motion picture companies, which was signed by the Attorneys General from 41 states. Beginning with the December release of “Clerks II,” the Weinstein Company’s upcoming DVDs, which are distributed by TWC’s exclusive home entertainment distributor, Genius Products, will include an anti -smoking ad created by the American Legacy Foundation.

Danberg’s September request offered free and unlimited use of teen-targeted anti-smoking ads developed for the truth campaing of the American Legacy Foundation, created pursuant to the 1998 settlement of the states’ tobacoo litigation against the major tobacoo companies. As of this date, no other studios have responded to this PSA offer.

“We are very proud to be the first to sign onto this important initiative.” said Bob and Harvey Weinstein. “The Attorney General made a very sensible request, and we think the concept has a lot of merit.” The Weinsteins added, “Hopefully our Company’s decision to move forward will make other studios reconsider the idea.”

Tobacoo remains the number one preventable cause of death in the United States and 80 percent of adult smokers begin before age 18. Research has shown that teens are strongly influenced by seeing actors they idolize smoke on screen, regardless of the characters they play. To counteract this, the Attorneys General have repeatedly asked the Motion Picture Association of America, and the major studios to show youth smoking prevention public service messages in theaters and on DVDs before films that contain smoking. The Attorneys General also asked the National Association of Theatre Owners and its members to run such messages in their theaters.

Danberg said he applauds The Weinstein Company for taking this step in deterring young movie viewers from smoking.