Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that nearly all future Disney, Pixar, and LucasFilm releases will be smoke-free. He left some open room for a few exceptions, but for the most part, all new characters will not be shown smoking on-screen.
R-rated movies will not be expected to adhere to the rule, and any historical figures who were well-known smokers will also be allowed to smoke on-screen:
“For instance, we’ve been doing a movie on Abraham Lincoln, he was a smoker, and we would consider that acceptable,” Disney CEO Bob Iger explained in a meeting with shareholders this week. “But in terms of any new characters that are created for any of those films, under any of those labels, we will absolutely prohibit smoking in any of those films.”
Just because a historical figure smoked, however, doesn’t mean Disney filmmakers will show them smoking on-screen. Walt Disney himself was a smoker, a fact acknowledged in 2013’s Saving Mr. Banks. However, the film never actually shows Disney smoking. In the scene, P.L. Travers walks into Disney’s office, and he is shown putting out a cigarette and fanning away smoke.
Here is Tom Hanks discussing the tricky linguistics of filming that particular scene, and the MPAA’s odd policies regarding smoking:
Source: Consequence of Sound