London [UK]: After getting you addicted to vodka Martinis, James Bond could now be blamed for turning you into a smoker!
Cigarettes feature in all but one of the 24 movies filmed to date, new research has discovered.
And despite kicking the habit in 2002 – before Daniel Craig took over – he continues to be exposed to second-hand smoke from his sexual partners, experts say.
However, the typically brief encounters would have helped to cut his risk of lung cancer, scientists claim.
Known to kill six million people a year, smoking increases the risk of 17 forms of cancer, according to scientists.
While the World Health Organization predicts more than one billion tobacco-related deaths will occur this century.
Given the links between alcohol in movies and teenagers taking it up, the findings are of huge concern and could be applied to smoking, scientists claim.
While several studies have delved into various aspects of Bond’s lifestyle, there has been little consideration of smoking related content.
Since the spy first lit up in 1962 with Dr No, there have been 24 movies – all screened by Eon Productions, the new study found.
Researchers from the University of Otago, New Zealand, discovered that his onscreen smoking peaked in the 1960s.
He used cigarettes in 83 per cent of the movies produced in that decade, the study published in the British Medical Journal found.
However, the rate steadily declined until he took his last puff in 2002’s ‘ Die Another Day’.
But when he was a smoker, he lit up, on average, within 20 minutes of the start of the film.
Only 2006’s ‘ Casino Royale’ was totally free of any smoking-related imagery, the researchers found.
Writing in the journal, the researchers said ‘while there have been some favourable downward smoking related trends in this movie series, the persisting smoking content remains problematic from a public health perspective, especially given the popularity of the series’.
In Spectre, the most recent movie, none of Bond’s major associates smoked, but other characters still did.
This added up to an estimated 261 million ‘tobacco impressions’ for 10-29 year olds in the US alone.
Cigarette branding even featured in two movies, with Marlboro in 1979’s Moonraker and Lark in License to Kill a decade later.
The latter was part of a product placement deal with Philip Morris to try and conquer the Japanese market.
The researchers noted that were several attempts to mention the hazards of smoking – the first of which came in 1967’s ‘You Only Live Twice’.
While in 1999’s The World Is Not Enough, Miss Moneypenny hurls Bond’s gift to her of a cigar into the bin in disgust.
And they suggest that while smoking seems to be at odds with Bond’s need for physical fitness, it does fit with his disregard for other risks.
After all, 007 has dodged thousands of bullets, he drinks a lot of alcohol, and often drives very fast, they point out.
And that’s without a goodly proportion of his sexual partners (nine out of 60) attempting to disable, capture, or kill him. (ANI)