You would be forgiven for being confused about Pierce Brosnan's stance on smoking and Bond. With "Die Another Day" stirring up the subject once again, MI6 trawls the archives of the tobacco merry-go-round...

Brosnan`s Bond - Smoking U-Turn
28th January 2003

Ian Fleming's literary James Bond smoked a lot - as many as 60 cigarettes a day. In today's modern world, 50 years on from when 007 was born, attitudes to smoking have changed.

By the time Pierce Brosnan took over the role in 1995, James Bond was last seen puffing his way through Timothy Dalton's "Licence To Kill". So much so, the producers had to display a health warning during the end credits - after all, Bond is role model and hero for many children around the world.

With Brosnan on board after the 6 year gap (due to legal wrangling between MGM and Kevin McClory), James Bond was back - and different. Gone were Roger Moore's cigars and Timothy Dalton's chain smoking habits, and in came a politically correct stance against tobacco.

During the production of "Tomorrow Never Dies" in 1997, it was reported that Brosnan had requested that smoking was put back into the Bond formula. The scene with Bond waiting for Paris Carver in his hotel room was the main centre of attention.

The producers apparently won out, and 007 had to wait to light up again. Brosnan said "That scene was crying out for a cigarette, but you have to think of the kids these days".

Right & Below: Brosnan as pictured in the November / December 1997 issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine.



"Brosnan's promise not to smoke as Bond shows strong leadership in the Hollywood community. It stands as a trailblazing example for other film stars," said Patrick Reynolds, an leading anti-smoking activist, "we hope others will follow his courageous lead."

But just as "Tomorrow Never Dies" was hitting the screens around the world, Brosnan was satisfying his allegiance to tobacco with a series of adverts in Japan - which were never meant to be seen in the Western world. He appeared in television and print adverts for Japanese Lark cigarettes, following on from his predecessor Timothy Dalton in both regards.

Imagine the confusion for Japanese fans waiting to see "Tomorrow Never Dies" when adverts show Brosnan's Bond smoking a cigarette, and in the film he then declares it a "filthy habit".

In an in-depth interview, Brosnan said of cigars: "I enjoy them. People give me fine cigars and I enjoy sharing them with people who really appreciate a fine cigar. There have been times when I've gone out with business guys and smoked cigars, and they've been among the most pleasurable evenings I've had. Good cigars and good company. Hard to beat."

He went on to feature on the cover of the November/December 1997 issue of Cigar Aficionado.

"The World Is not Enough" continued the anti-smoking pitch with Moneypenny throwing a cigar Bond brought back for her into the bin.

"Die Another Day" finally saw the collapse of the non-smoking Bond charade. Whilst in Cuba, 007 enjoys several fine cigars, and NSA chief Damian Falco lights up a cigarette whenever the going gets tough.

Right: Brosnan's advert for Lark cigarettes in Japan.


This infuriated the The American Lung Association "We are very concerned that tobacco use is too often glamorised in movies. We are particularly concerned that the positive depiction of tobacco use encourages children and youth to smoke," says Michelle Sawatka, director of media relations for the American Lung Association. "When they see their big-screen heroes smoking, they may try to imitate that behaviour." It was alleged representatives for Brosnan and MGM did not respond to calls for comment.

From 1989 to 2002, the smoking circle has completed and Bond is back to his literary ways - almost. Ian Fleming was never fond of cigars, and apparently regarded them as filthy disgusting things.