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Hollywood's Smoky Love Affair

Hollywood's Smoky Love Affair

Think back to cinema’s golden era when films were black and white and the big names were Humphrey Bogart and Joan Crawford. While recalling the classics, you might also remember another detail. Everyone smoked. And it’s no coincidence that all the heroes and heroines had a cigarette dangling from their lips.

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco found contracts between tobacco companies and film studios created to establish cross-promotion between cigarettes and movies. Movie stars who endorsed certain brands of cigarettes were paid the equivalent of millions of dollars by today’s standards.

All that smoking depicted in films was not a reflection of Americans' love of tobacco at the time, researchers say. Rather this shows that cigarette smoking in films was deliberate and premeditated to be highly influential.

Some experts argue that these findings support the idea that movies today that have smoking in them should receive an “R” rating. Do you think removing cigarettes from youth-oriented movies would help stop kids from smoking? Would it help you in your quitting smoking efforts? [WebMD]

Posted: 9/26/08

Yeah, I definitely didn't pick it up b/c of a movie when I was a kid. I never smoked regularly, only socially...I don't get addicted, but as long as something is taboo, and smoking always will be b/c it's bad for your health, people will continue to do it. Although smoking is different from drinking, eating fatty foods and caffeine addiction, they are all things we KNOW are bad for us. And yet, I know I at least continue to do them...


Rent a copy of "Thank you for smoking". It touches on this topic directly via William H. Macy's cheese-loving character.


I have a feeling that people would be smoking anyhow, whether cigarettes were on tv or not. Everyone I know who smokes picked up the habit after hours in middle school and high school...not after watching a movie.


What I love about those old movies is that they're holding the cigarette while they're doing things you really wouldn't be doing with a cigarette in your hand. It's pretty funny, actually.

On a serious note, children are impressionable and movie stars are looked up to by some, so anything they can do to promote a healthier lifestyle should be encouraged and applauded.