Ad 57

Date of first publication: 
Cigars, cigarettes and James Bond.
Cigars, cigarettes and James Bond. James Bond, a top-grossing PG/PG-13 franchise launched in 1962, finally gave up tobacco in 2006: Casino Royale was smokefree. Yet now, in Quantum of Solace, we see CIA agent Felix Leiter smoking a cigar. And Agent 007 himself, Daniel Craig, appeared on the cover of a cigar magazine when Quantum of Solace premiered. Have cigars become body doubles for cigarettes in mainstream movies? As it happens, cigar manufacturers are not covered by the 1998 legal agreement that forbids cigarette companies to buy product placement. Since 2002, cigars have appeared in at least 175 top-grossing youth-rated movies. In 2007 and 2008, more than half of kid-rated movies included smoking — and nearly 40% of these films featured cigars. Cigars of all sizes are a growing segment of the U.S. tobacco market. They include cheaper-to-buy, cigarette-sized and -packaged “small cigars” developed to take advantage of lower cigar taxes, and cigars in candy and chocolate flavors. Cigars rank just behind cigarettes among adolescent smokers. Last year, almost 20% of high-school boys and 8% of girls reported they used cigars. Teen cigar smokers outnumber cigarette smokers in some states. Cigars are mistakenly perceived as less dangerous than cigarettes. A large cigar contains the same toxic load as a pack of cigarettes. Cigars kill smokers through mouth and throat cancer, heart disease, and lung disease. “Small cigars” popular with the young are inhaled like cigarettes. Building a bigger-than-life presence for cigars in films rated for young people cannot be rationalized. Cigars are addictive, lethal, and have a record of product placement like cigarettes. Get them out of G, PG, and PG-13 movies now. [Poster: License to Kill] 20th Anniversary of a Pay-Off. In 1988, as Philip Morris was breaking open the Japanese cigarette market, it paid the UK producers of License to Kill $350,000 to feature its Lark export brand in the movie — and launched a heavy TV advertising campaign in Japan around Bond-associated actors Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Roger Moore. License to Kill’s final credits fail to mention Philip Morris. Instead, producers posted a pack-like warning about smoking risks. [Posters: The Incredible Hulk and Quantum of Solace] The Incredible Hulk and Quantum of Solace are two of at least 22 top-grossing kid-rated 2008 films spotlighting cigars. Props or propaganda, they promote youth smoking.
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