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Deaths Behind the Limelight. Hollywood personalities who smoked themselves to death and other stories. On the contrary to what is glamorized in the movies, movie stars know what smoking can do to them. Throat cancer patient and "Basic Instinct" writer Joe Eszterhas says:.

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deaths behind the limelight

Deaths Behind the Limelight

Hollywood personalities who smoked themselves to death

and other stories

On the contrary to what is glamorized in the movies, movie stars know what smoking can do to them.
Throat cancer patient and "Basic Instinct" writer Joe Eszterhas says:

“Hollywood films espouse a belief in

goodness and redemption.

Yet we are the advertising agency and

sales force for an industry

that kills nearly

10,000 people daily . . .

My hands are bloody; so are Hollywood’s.”

ESZTERHAS, J. ESZTERHAS: Hollywood's Responsibility for Smoking Deaths, New York Times, Friday, August 9, 2002


Movie stars are role models for youths

and tobacco industry made use of

movie industry to advertise its

killer products.

It is known as “product placement”



Non-smoker woman reporter Lois Lane in comics puffed Marlboro about 40 times in Superman II!

In a 1983 letter, Sylvester Stallone agreed to a payment of US$500,000 for smoking Brown & Williamson products in “no less than five feature films.”
The producers of the James Bond film License to Kill took a$350,000payment to have James Bond smoke Larks in the movie.


Rajnikanth with his ‘unique style of smoking’ that the ‘youth like to copy’ accounted for4.2%of such incidents.




Aamir Khan, a smoker, received

several offers to advertise

cigarette, tobacco, gutka

and alcohol but “I always

refuse them because I do not

want to mislead my fans”.

Movie stars smoke to project a macho or feminine, sophisticated or rugged, sexy or sporty image. However, there is always the flip side of a story.
Michael Landon (1936-1991) of “Little House on the Prairie” fame smokes four packs a day and he died of pancreatic cancer.
Betty Grable a.k.a. the girl with the million dollar legs died oflung cancerat the age of 57 in 1973.
As a result of a rising awareness of the dangers of smoking, celebrities have spoken up in support of tobacco control. Among whom are …
Superstar Jackie Chan, Ambassador of Anti-Smoking by American Cancer Foundation in 2001
  • Christy Turlington, fashion model

Tyra Banks, fashion model.

  • Boyz II Men, musicians
Many of the celebrities who died from smoking-related diseases advocated for tobacco control in their final years or funds have been set up under their names.
Walt Disney, Walt Disney Memorial Cancer Institute ,
  • Sammy Davis, Jr. chaired the Great American Smoke Out event organised by the American Cancer Society,
  • Michael Landon, Michael Landon Childrens Cancer Fund,

… and many others.

malaysian movies
Malaysian movies

Cucu Datuk Merah (1963)


Malaysian movie industry has to play a take the initiative in liberating its productions from smoking scenes.Think of it as a corporate duty to the youth and to society as a whole.

  • Celebrities Killed by Smoking,
  • WHO will rein in desi Marlboro man?


Powerpoint by:

Clearinghouse for Tobacco Control,

National Poison Centre,

Universiti Sains Malaysia,

11800, Penang.

tel: 604-657 0099

fax: 604-656 8417