Product placement Study: Tobacco giants wooed Hollywood

Tobacco companies once helped actors pick up the habit in hopes of influencing moviegoers, according to a study in the British medical journal Tobacco Control. Citing a 1980 internal document, researchers say R. J. Reynolds gave free cigarettes to 188 celebs, including Rex Reed and Shelley Winters, “to continue smoking within the industry’ And a 1989 Philip Morris document, arguing the need to exploit” actors, notes: “We believe that most of the strong, positive images for cigarettes and smoking are created by cinema and television. Mickey Rourke, Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn are forever seen, both on and off screen, with a lighted cigarette.’

Source: USA TODAY,  March 12,2002.
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