Screen Out!

Help Get Tobacco Out of Youth-Rated Movies

Background on Screen Out!
The New York State Department of Health and the University of California at San Francisco developed the national action program, Screen Out!, to raise awareness about the harm on-screen tobacco use causes and  to garner support for the Smoke Free Movies campaign. In October 2006, the American Medical Association (AMA) Alliance joined the Smoke Free Movies movement giving a powerful, national voice to the Screen Out! campaign. TMA joined AMA Alliance's campaign in June 2008.

The three goals identified to be reached during the three-year duration of its Screen Out! campaign:

  • Write 800 letters to the Motion Picture Association of America and other decision makers;
  • Gather 750,000 parent petition signatures in support of the four solutions set forth by the Screen Out! Campaign; and
  • Garner 1,500 Screen Out! endorsements from parent, political, health and school-based organizations.

How to Get Involved
Screen Out! provides several easy ways for physicians, students and TMA Alliance members to get involved.  Here are four outreach tactics you can employ to create awareness of Screen Out! in your community:

  1. Write letters to movie studios, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and movie theater owners. Go to  to find contact information for the MPAA.
  2. Gather petition signatures .
  3. Garner organizational endorsements. Meet with your alliance or community organization to brainstorm possible organizations and groups that would be interested in supporting the Screen Out! principles. Some organizations that might be interested in supporting the Screen Out! campaign are Parent-Teacher Associations, local health departments, hospitals, churches, retailers that sell DVDs, movie theaters, and schools and churches.
  4. Create media outreach. Local media can help publicize your efforts and also garner public attention from local citizens on the issue.

Outreach Tools
The success of this campaign relies on you getting involved. Take action today by using one or all of the tools and resources developed for you.

Screen Out! Toolkit . To download tools and learn how to get involved in the campaign, click here .

  • Gather Petitions.  Ask people in your community to sign the  Screen Out Petition .
  • Write letters.  Ask patients, parents and key stakeholder to write letters to the chiefs of movie studios, the MPAA and movie theater owners.
  • Collect Organizational Endorsements . An organizational endorsement demonstrates to the movie industry that a network of state, local and national groups are concerned with on-screen tobacco promotion in youth-rated films and support the four solutions of the Screen Out! campaign.
  • Media Outreach . Be sure to publicize your petition drive  or other events to your local media. Go to Media Outreach to download press releases, letters to the editor and other resources to reach out to the press.

Screen Out! In The News