Time for James Bond to quit smok­ing

Matamata Chronicle - - Entertainment - MOVIES

Of all the James Bond films – there have been 24 since 1962 – just one is smoke-free.

Bond him­self stubbed out his last cig­a­rette in 2002, but has con­tin­ued to be ex­posed to sec­ond­hand smoke, ac­cord­ing to New Zealand re­search pub­lished in Tobacco Con­trol.

While other lit­er­a­ture has delved into the films’ al­co­hol mis­use and vi­o­lent be­hav­iour, there has been no de­tailed con­sid­er­a­tion of smok­ing con­tent and health themes, said the au­thors, based at Univer­sity of Otago’s De­part­ment of Pub­lic Health in Wellington.

This per­sist­ing smok­ing con­tent re­mained ‘‘prob­lem­atic from a pub­lic health per­spec­tive’’, es­pe­cially considering the pop­u­lar­ity of the movie se­ries among teenagers, they said.

Ex­am­in­ing the se­ries, which is the long­est-run­ning and high­est ever gross­ing movie fran­chise glob­ally, the anal­y­sis found the spy’s on-screen smok­ing peaked dur­ing the 1960s, when he puffed away in 83 per cent of the movies pro­duced in that decade.

While smok­ing has de­clined among his sex­ual part­ners, it was seen most re­cently in 2012 in Sky­fall.

Ac­cord­ing to Smoke Free Movies, an ini­tia­tive at the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia San Fran­cisco, Sky­fall was the worst movie for smok­ing that year.

In the most re­cent movie, Spec­tre, in 2015, none of Bond’s ma­jor as­so­ciates smoked, but other char­ac­ters did. This re­sulted in an estimated 261 mil­lion ‘‘tobacco im­pres­sions’’ for 10-29 year olds in the United States alone, the au­thors said. (Im­pres­sions are worked out by mul­ti­ply­ing tobacco in­ci­dents by in-theatre view­ings.)

Ex­ten­sive re­search has shown smok­ing on screen, even in the back­ground or in pass­ing, is linked with real-world ex­per­i­men­ta­tion.

Over­all, smok­ing-re­lated im­agery was ab­sent in only one Bond movie, Casino Royale, in 2006.

E-cig­a­rettes are yet to ap­pear in the se­ries, the au­thors noted.

In the orig­i­nal nov­els, Bond was de­picted as a heavy smoker. His cre­ator, Ian Flem­ming, was also a heavy drinker and smoker. Flem­ming died of a heart at­tack in 1961, aged 53.

LARRY EL­LIS

Aus­tralian Bond ac­tor Ge­orge Lazenby of­fers co-star He­lena Ronee a light, whilst film­ing On Her Majesty’s Se­cret Ser­vice in the Swiss Alps.

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