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March 9, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Three anti-smoking groups are fuming over scenes in the animated Rango in which the characters are seen with cigarettes and cigars. In a statement, Legacy, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and the American Academy of Pediatrics particularly objected to a scene in which “the hero, a chameleon, swallows a cigar and breathes fire in the face of a villain.” Legacy chief Cheryl G. Healton said, “While some in the film industry have taken preliminary steps to protect young audiences by making more movies smoke free, Paramount’s decision to include smoking in a movie designed for kids is really troubling.” Several groups have urged the MPAA to automatically impose an R-rating on any film depicting smoking. That demand was echoed by Matthew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.”While the incidence of smoking in the movies has declined in recent years, the presence of smoking in a youth-oriented cartoon like Rango underscores the need for Hollywood to take stronger, mandatory action to protect our children. It’s time for the Motion Picture Association of America to require an R-rating for movies that depict smoking,” he said. (Rango is rated PG, and critics have suggested it may be more appropriate for adults than for children.)