Smoking and the Movies

Scott Simon takes a moment to note a new study that indicates smoking cigarettes is not glamorized these days in popular films.

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SCOTT SIMON, host:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

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SIMON: If "Casablanca" were to be remade today, Bogie might have a carrot stick in his mouth. `Here's looking at you, Doc.' A new study in a magazine called Chest, which is, by the way, the Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians and not anything else you might have thought, has concluded that contemporary films do not glorify smoking. On the contrary, after surveying 447 popular movies from the past 15 years, Chest says that in most modern movies, cigarettes have become the new black hat, a prop to signal, da-da-da-dum, this is the bad guy. Now there is an important exception. The study says that independent films are much more likely to show sympathetic characters lighting up cigarettes, like those sympathetic guys in "Pulp Fiction."

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SIMON: Coming up, they smoked, they drank--boy, were they cool; did they have fun! Nick and Nora Charles are back as "The Thin Man" makes it to DVD. Stay tuned.

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