SACRAMENTO — “Mean Girls” portrayed the more toxic side of high school social life but chose not to use tobacco as a prop, making the PG-13 movie the Thumbs Up! Award winner in the 10th Annual Hackademy Awards here Feb. 16. The Thumbs Down! Award went to “Anchorman,” a movie popular with teens that recreated the smoky ‘70s every chance it got.

The Thumbs Up! for actor was awarded to Bernie Mac for “Mr. 3000.” He was tobacco-free in a movie about a sport — baseball — that’s known for chewing tobacco. Jude Law was given the Thumbs Down! because of his tobacco use in a trio of hit movies in 2004 — “Closer,” “Alfie” and “The Aviator.”

Cate Blanchett was honored with the Thumbs Up! for her nonsmoking portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in the otherwise tobacco-filled “Aviator.” “Cate shows that even though Katherine Hepburn may have smoked on screen and in real life, cigarettes were not necessary to effectively portray someone from another era,” said Kim Le, a high school senior, as she presented the award.

Sponsored by the American Lung Association of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails, the “Hackys” are awarded by a panel of volunteer teenage movie reviewers. Many movies about high school life resort to a cliché portrayal of smoking to identify characters as rebellious, but “Mean Girls” avoided the tired technique entirely, the youths said.

Started in 1994, the Hackademy Awards were inspired by Big Tobacco’s aggressive campaign to market its products through movies. The Los Angeles County public health agency paid for three mobile billboards outside the Academy Awards this year, demanding that filmmakers keep smoking out of their films. Studies show that children who watch movies featuring actors who smoke heavily are three times more likely to smoke themselves. For more information about tobacco use in movies, visit www.scenesmoking.org

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