Smoking is PG-13

Have you met Just Margaret? She’s a New England Mom and I thought she poses an interesting question – why are we being selective about what habits will be bad for kids? Perhaps because we have resigned ourselves to being non-smokers but we don’t want the kids nagging us about our cocktails? I quit smoking – it was one of the best things I ever did.

Last night, after getting the kids to bed, my hub and I snuggled into bed and popped in a DVD. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, though, as usual, I fell asleep about a half an hour into the flick (I’ll try again tonight!).

I didn’t miss the rating description though. Wow, they’ve gotten pretty damn thorough. Next thing you know, there’ll be a brief review of the plot in that little box. In any event, the movie was rated PG-13 for a litany of things, including “war violence” and “smoking”.


I mean, really. They don’t mention drinking. Now, remember, I only caught the first half hour, but I’m thinking that a cocktail or two was swilled in this movie–I very much doubt it was a ‘dry’ movie. In fact, if there was a libation enjoyed in the first half hour, I didn’t even notice.

Will watching a character in a movie really make someone say, “Hey, they look cool,” followed by their immediately springing up to damn near $10 for a pack of smokes, so they can ‘take up’ smoking? Are we really raising such hare-brained children?

And really, I suppose the real question is…

Will the fact that there is smoking portrayed in the movie truly be a
factor for parents struggling to determine if this movie is appropriate for
their child? Is the illicit smoking truly going to be the

When are they going to add, “consumption of alcoholic beverages,” “reckless driving,” or “little kids chewing with their mouths open,” to the warnings. ‘Cause that last one? Yeesh…for me, that could be a deal-breaker!

Full Disclosure: I’m a smoker. The only reason I ever notice smoking in the movies is when I see a character up on the screen smoking. I notice because it makes me want to light up. Don’t worry, I don’t dispute that smoking is a horrible thing to do to yourself, and it’s smelly and icky and all that, to boot.

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