An anti-smoking group staged a protest against characters in soaps lighting up.
Youth group D-MYST donned cardboard TVs to parade through Liverpool in their new Smoke Off campaign.
Members want to get smoking out of pre-watershed television programmes, to prevent under-18s seeing unnecessary smoking images.
They are aiming to get 100,000 online signatures so that Parliament considers debating the issue, and will be asking people to sign postcards which will be sent to the TV censor Ofcom.
Dr Paula Grey, joint director of public health for Liverpool said: Smoking among young people in this city is already at a high level, and anything that can be done to stop young people taking up the habit is to be encouraged.
A group of young people from Liverpool visited the Ofcom headquarters in London to deliver 10,000 postcards from people calling for a ban on TV smoking.
SmokeOff, promoted by D-MYST, is a campaign which targets Ofcom asking them to ban smoking on television.
Ofcom rules already state:
Smoking must not be condoned, encouraged or glamourised in programmes likely to be widely seen or heard by under-18s unless there is editorial justification.
Yet many programmes like Coronation Street and Eastenders regularly contain smoking scenes, at times when young people are watching.
D-MYST spokesperson Lilly Mae Paulucci, 15, said:
When programmes like The Simpsons and Friends show people smoking, it encourages young people to start. We believe the media should stop showing tobacco images in TV programmes viewed by under-18s before the watershed.
We want to make sure that all future pre-watershed programmes are smokefree and we're really pleased with the support we've received so far.
Dr Jo Cranwell, a psychologist from the University of Nottingham, is calling for tighter measures put in place to protect children from images depicting smoking an drinking in music videos.
She claims that British teenagers are being exposed to a high level of tobacco and alcohol images in online music videos and research from the University of Nottingham suggests girls aged between 13 and 15 are the most exposed.
The study, published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health , analysed 32 of the most popular music videos during a 12-week period. reserachers estimated, using the census and their own data, that the average percentage of
viewing of those videos was 22% for teenagers and 6% for adults. They worked out the total number of depictions (impressions) of alcohol and tobacco in 10-second slots throughout the music videos seen by viewers. Overall, the videos produced
1,006 million impressions of alcohol and 203 million of tobacco.
Trumpets by Jason Derulo, and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke delivered some of the highest number of tobacco impressions, while Timber by Pitbull, and Drunk In Love by Beyonce, delivered the most alcohol content, the
Girls are looking at role models beyond their core family unit and their peers. They're looking at wider society and they're looking at celebrities on film, she said. They're very attractive and they lead very aspirational lifestyles and these
young girls are looking to them to learn about how they should look and how they should behave.
The BBFC should include portrayals of alcohol and tobacco smoking in their 'drug misuse' and their 'dangerous behaviours presented as safe age classification' criteria and at the moment they're not.
The BBFC says classification of content online is not required by law but many platforms use BBFC age ratings voluntarily. Its guidelines state that classification decisions also take into account any promotion or glamorisation of
activities such as smoking or drinking. The last review in 2013 public opinion was clear that neither smoking nor alcohol were viewed as areas for concern for film classification .
Presumably Cranwell was too wrapped up in self importance to realise that issuing silly ratings, eg an 18 rating for 1001 Dalmatians, would undermine the credibility of ratings and would lead to parents ignoring them entirely.