The Huron County Health Unit is supporting a World Health Organization call to leave scenes depicting smoking in movies available to youth on the cutting-room floor.
The issue is being raised just ahead of the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles tonight.
Research done by the WHO shows 37 per-cent of young people pick up the Bayshore Broadcasting News the Health Unit looks to raise awareness of the suggestive effect smoking in the movies can have on youth.
She believes release of the WHO findings and their call on governments to adjust ratings for movies that show smoking, are well-timed in advance of the Oscars.
Docherty says the Health Unit wants to see the province change the rating for pictures showing tobacco use to 18A.
She mentions that restricting such movies from young people could potentially prevent the premature smoking-related deaths of as many as 43,000 Canadian children alive today.
An increasing number of cable television series and miniseries also show characters smoking.
Docherty says the Health Unit is concentrating on changing movie ratings, but the availability of shows on cable showing tobacco use could stimulate dialogue between parents and their kids on the dangers of smoking.