Hollywood is being urged to crack down on the amount of smoking featured in movies.
One study linked smoking on screen to teens taking up the habit
In a letter to the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, Jack Valenti, 24 attorneys general called on him to persuade the industry to reduce the appeal of cigarettes to teenagers.
"We are hopeful you will use your best efforts again here to rally the industry from being a source of the problem," the
"Simply by reducing the depiction of smoking in
movies, the industry can protect our nation's youth from the known perils of smoking."
The letter cited a recent study conducted at the Dartmouth Medical School, New Hampshire, that suggested that non-smoking children are influenced by screen idols seen smoking on screen.
The study concluded: "If the link between exposure to smoking in movies and smoking initiation proves to be causal, our data suggest that eliminating adolescents' exposure to movie smoking could reduce
smoking initiation by half."
The World Health Organisation recently appealed to the Indian film industry to stop glamorising smoking.
Rallying to the call, a number of top Bollywood actors and actresses joined a campaign to show people that there was nothing "cool" about smoking.