Network to Ban Smoking 'Tom and Jerry' Scenes

Those poor 1940s kids were driven to smoke by the cartoon cat and mouse duo of "Tom and Jerry." This is a problem they want to prevent in Britain by cutting out scenes of feline tobacco use. Reports AFP:

Smoking scenes in "Tom and Jerry" cartoons are now banned in Britain, following a viewer's complaint to the government agency that polices the airwaves.

In one episode of the classic US cartoon series, Tom is seen smoking a roll-up cigarette in a bid to impress a female cat. In another, Tom's opponent in a tennis match was seen smoking a large cigar.

Following an investigation prompted by the anonymous viewer's complaint, regulator Ofcom said Monday that children's TV channel Boomerang has agreed to edit out scenes deemed to glamorise or condone smoking.

"We note that, in 'Tom and Jerry', smoking usually appears in a stylised manner and is frequently not condoned," said Ofcom, recalling how the cartoons were made in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s when smoking was not so controversial.

"However, while we appreciate the historic integrity of the animation, the level of editorial justification required for the inclusion of smoking in such cartoons is necessarily high."