Iowa’s attorney general is joining with 31 attorneys general from other states to urge the movie industry to counter pro-smoking images with anti-smoking messages. Bob Brammer, a spokesman for Iowa’s Attorney General says they’re asking the motion picture industry to put an anti-smoking P-S-A on any video or D-V-D that contains a movie that has characters that smoke.

The attorneys general are also urging movie-makers to reduce the number of films that portray smoking in a positive way. “The reason that we’re really hitting on this again is that there’s a brand new study that very strongly correlates youth starting up smoking and seeing smoking in movies,” Brammer says.

He says preliminary studies pointed to the trend, but a recent Dartmouth study seems to conclusively show the connection between a kid seeing smoking depicted in movies and then starting up the habit. Brammer says the attorneys general are also urging movie theaters to run anti-smoking messages among the commercials that are played before a movie starts.

The American Legacy Foundation is creating an anti-smoking public service announcement, and Brammer says the attorneys general hope that is widely used in theaters throughout the country. The 32 attorneys general, including Iowa’s Tom Miller, have co-signed a letter that’s been sent to the heads of 10 movie studios, urging the film makers to cut back the number of on-screen images of smokers and smoking.

The study the attorneys general cite was published in the November 7th issue of “Pediatrics” — a medical journal. The study was financed by the National Cancer Institute and conducted by the Dartmouth Medical School.