St. Mary’s asks community to Help Oscar Quit

February 23, 2018

Tobacco is still the largest cause of preventable death in Georgia and in the rest of America. Smoking kills nearly half a million adults every year. During the week before the Oscars, St. Mary’s and Trinity Health are asking for the community to Help Oscar Quit.


Smokefree Movies is an organization working to raise the rating of movies that feature smoking to decrease the number of young adults exposed to tobacco use. As the voice behind the #HelpOscarQuit movement, they are initiating a Week of Action leading up to the 2018 Oscars. St. Mary’s has joined the fight to reduce smoking exposure in youth–rated films.


According to Smokefree Movies, smoking was featured in 86 percent of films nominated in major categories this year. This is the highest percent of tobacco use in nominated films in the past four years. The US Surgeon General has confirmed that smoking and tobacco use featured in movies causes kids to start smoking.


“We see the disastrous effects of smoking every day, including heart attacks, strokes, lung disease, peripheral artery disease and more,” said Montez Carter, president and CEO of St. Mary’s Health Care System. “The best way to treat these conditions is to prevent them, and the best way to prevent them is to never start smoking. We need to come together and convince Hollywood that our kids don’t need to be exposed to smoking in the movies.”


Of the PG-13 youth–rated films that are nominated this year, 50 percent of featured smoking. All 16 of the R-rated movies featured tobacco use, Smokefree Movies says.


The CDC estimates that giving a film that features smoking and tobacco use an R rating could prevent a million tobacco deaths in this generation of young adults. With the help of the community, St. Mary’s hopes to help prevent smoking-related deaths by urging the industry to raise the rating of movies that feature smoking.


For more information on how to get involved, please visit the online News section of


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