Bond's lovers continue to expose 007 to passive smoke!

Bond's lovers continue to expose 007 to passive smoke!
James Bond may have kicked the butt over a decade ago, but the fictional British Secret Service agent's romantic partners and associates continue to expose him to second-hand smoke in the popular spy thriller movies, according to a new study published today in the BMJ. Smoking related imagery is conspicuous by its absence from only one Bond movie - Casino Royale - since 007 first graced cinema screens in 1962, researchers said.

In the most recent movie Spectre, none of Bond's major associates smoked, but other characters still did, adding up to an estimated 261 million 'tobacco impressions' for 10-29 year olds in the US alone. Bond has stubbed out his last cigarette in 2002 but continues to be exposed to second-hand smoke, including from his sexual partners, researchers at University of Otago in New Zealand has shown.

Given the links between smoking in movies and teens taking it up, and that the James Bond series of movies is the longest running and highest ever grossing movie franchise globally, these findings are of concern, researchers said. While several studies have delved into various aspects of Bond's lifestyle, there has not been any detailed consideration of smoking related content and its potential health impact since the spy first lit up in 1962.

The researchers therefore analysed these themes in the 24 Bond movies screened by Eon Productions, from 1962 (Dr No) up to the latest, Spectre, in 2015. They found that Bond's on screen smoking peaked during the 1960s, when he puffed away in 83 per cent of the movies produced in that decade, after which it declined until he took his last puff in 2002 (Die Another Day). When he was a smoker, he lit up, on average, within 20 minutes of the start of the film.

While smoking has declined among Bond's sexual partners over the decades, it is still happening, as seen most recently in 2012 in Skyfall. Smoking by his sexual partners would have exposed Bond to considerable levels of second-hand cigarette smoke, although the typically brief nature of his romantic liaisons would have at least curbed some of the impact, suggest the researchers. Smoking related spy gadgetry had a relatively short lifespan in Bond movies, peaking in the 1970s in 80 per cent of the films produced during that decade, but never to be seen again after 1989.

The researchers note that there have been attempts in the Bond series to mention or depict the hazards of smoking, the first of which came in 1967 (You Only Live Twice), with subsequent references made in 1974, 1979, 1997. In 1999, Miss Moneypenny hurls Bond's gift to her of a cigar into the bin in disgust (The World Is Not Enough). However 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," said the researchers.

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