Movies under the stars kicks off Wednesday at Courthouse Park

The following is a republished press release written by Melissa Potter, public health educator at the Cortland County Health Department…to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].

CORTLAND, N.Y. – Big Tobacco has known the power of the media for decades and has a long history with the entertainment industry.

The tobacco industry uses tobacco imagery and brand identification on screen to both normalize and glamorize tobacco use. Teens consume more media than ever, watching an average of almost 11 hours of media in any given day.

The media youth consume is often completely unregulated, giving the tobacco industry direct access to teens’ daily lives.

Youth who are exposed to images of smoking in movies are more likely to smoke; those who get the most exposure to on-screen smoking are about twice as likely to begin smoking as those who get the least exposure.

Actions that would eliminate the depiction of tobacco use in movies could have a significant effect on preventing youth from becoming tobacco users. PG-13 movies are the biggest concern since they account for a majority of on-screen smoking.

Knowing that tobacco imagery in youth-rated movies is a cause of youth smoking, it is time to take action. Reality Check has partnered with the Cortland City Youth Bureau to bring Cortland this year’s Movie Under the Stars series showing only smoke-free movies!

Cortland City Youth Bureau has unveiled its lineup for the 2015 edition of its annual outdoor movies series, held on Wednesdays in Court House Park in the City of Cortland.

This year’s series will be kicked off on Wednesday, July 8 featuring smoke-free, family friendly movies.

This year’s lineup includes the following movies:

  • July 8th – Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

  • July 15th – Paul Bart Mall Cop 2

  • July 22nd – Planes: Fire & Rescue

  • August 5th – Annie

  • August 19th – Frozen

Movies will begin at dusk. The rain location will be held in the County Office Building Gym.

For more than 10 years, Reality Check has been working to get Hollywood to eliminate smoking in youth- rated movies by using an “R” rating. Movies with smoking will cause 6.4 million of today’s children and teens to become smokers. Visit the Reality Check table at Court House Park before each movie to help support this initiative.

For more information about the harmful effects of tobacco marketing in movies, visit or contact Reality Check Coordinator Melissa Potter 607-756-3416; [email protected] or Community Engagement Coordinator Jennifer Hamilton 607-758-5501; [email protected].

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