Licensed to kill: James Bond goes back to smoking

Sunday 17 November 2002

ASH release: 17 November 2002


Licensed to kill: Bond goes back to smoking


In a dreadful setback, James Bond has reverted to smoking on screen.  Despite cutting out smoking in earlier films starring Pierce Brosnan as 007, the new film, aptly titled “Die Another Day” has Bond smoking again.


Clive Bates, Director of Action on Smoking and Health, commented:


“The tobacco industry can’t even dream of buying advertising like this. Put a fat cigar in the hands of the world’s most sophisticated and suave screen icon, and then have the film shown everywhere in the world to massive audiences full of kids.


“For kids that don’t already smoke it’s sending a signal about what is cool.  For kids and adults already smoking, it’s sending a very reassuring message.


“There can only be two explanations for back-tracking on the earlier commitment to have a smoke-free Bond: it’s either greed or stupidity.  Though they are claiming there was no payment, we know that very little moves in Hollywood without money changing hands.


“If they just did it without thinking about the consequences it’s not much better than being paid for it.  It would be good if directors and actors that glamorise smoking in films could get a reality check by spending a little time in a hospital emphysema ward looking after people that can barely breathe.


“Research shows that kids that name smoking movie stars as their favourite actors are more likely to smoke and that film is one of the most cherished billboard spaces for the tobacco industry.


“While the Bond films are amazing action theatre, the promotion of smoking through this powerful medium does mean that real people get hooked, harmed and ultimately killed.


More information:


Smoke-free movies web site

Publicity pictures: (no 29 has Bond smoking a cigar) – see PDF


Contact: Clive Bates:  077 6879 1237    ASH office: 020 7739 5902