Canadian Cancer Society youth advocates at TIFF to butt smoking out of movies

07 September 2013


Youth advocates at TIFF.Youth advocates from across Ontario are at the Toronto International Film Festival today to call for action on smoking in youth-rated movies.

The youth will invite TIFF movie-goers to pose on a red carpet with a movie-themed backdrop to have their photos taken celebrity-style while raising awareness about the need to change Ontario’s film rating system. The red carpet is located near the intersection of King and Simcoe streets outside of St. Andrew’s Church.

“We know that the more youth see smoking in movies, the more likely they are to try smoking,” says 17-year-old Shadi Mousavi Nia of Richmond Hill. “The tobacco industry knows if they don’t get youth to try smoking before the age of 18, chances are they never will. We don’t want our generation to become smokers.”

The youth advocates will also ask for support for smoke-free youth-rated movies in Ontario by collecting signatures on postcards and online. Ontarians can show their support for smoke-free movies at

“Tobacco companies are no longer allowed to directly market their products to young people through media such as TV, radio and print. It’s a problem that actors are lighting up on the silver screen because it displays tobacco use as more popular than it is. In reality, 16% of adults and 9% of youth smoke in Ontario” says Nicole McInerney, Senior Coordinator Public Issues.

The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the Ontario Film Review Board to make changes to its movie rating system so that any new movies that have smoking scenes are rated 18A. This would ensure that all movies in Ontario rated for children and teens (G, PG and 14A) are smoke-free.

Fast facts

  • Nearly 90% of smokers start before the age of 18.
  • 30% of cancer deaths and 85% of lung cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use.
About Canadian Cancer Society youth advocates

Canadian Cancer Society youth advocates are between the ages of 14-24 and are dedicated volunteers committed to engaging their peers and the greater community as cancer fighters on issues such as smoking in movies, flavoured tobacco and indoor tanning that impact youth. Youth use their voices and creativity to speak up to further the Society’s advocacy efforts aimed at policy change at the provincial level of government.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

Help us make a difference. Call 1-888-939-3333 or visit today.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026