When a new James Bond movie opens later this year, audiences will see packs of Lark cigarettes in it. That's because Philip Morris Co. paid the producers $350,000 to include them.
The chairman of the House Subcommittee on Transportation and Hazardous Materials, Tom Luken, D-Ohio, says such action is simply an attempt to circumvent bans on cigarette advertising on TV.Luken introduced a bill Thursday that would eliminate that loophole and enjoin cigarette companies from paying to have their products pictured in movies.
Most cigarette-ad bans and label-warning laws in the past were sponsored by congressmen from Utah, where cigarette smoking is especially unpopular because of LDS Church teachings.
Luken said, "This practice of paying to have cigarettes placed in a movie is a subtle technique by the merchants of addiction to get young people to smoke.
"I have no desire to restrict in any way an artistic decision to have a smoking scene in a movie. But that decision should not be influenced by the lure of large cash payments from the tobacco companies, and my bill would bar such payments."
Luken said he recently asked the nation's six major cigarette companies whether they pay to have their brands appear in movies.
Among the information gleaned was that Philip Morris paid $42,500 to have its Marlboro cigarette appear in "Superman II' in 1979.
Liggett paid $30,000 to have its Eve cigarette appear in the movie "Supergirl" in 1983.
Luken said other cigarette companies have also told him that during the past decade they have either paid money or supplied such incentives as billboards to have a particular cigarette brand in a movie.
Luken's bill would also ban all tobacco product advertising and promotion that can be seen or heard by anyone younger than 18, but would allow text-only ads in newspapers and magazines. It would allow signs or billboards not located in a sports stadium or other sports facility.
Hearings on the bill will be held later this year.
Buy or Rent?
Not suprisingly, whether renters can save money for a down payment on a home depends in great measure on where they live. Based on the cities listed below, the best tactic for renters (though perhaps not very practical) would be to rent for a while in Cedar Rapids or Salt Lake City, then go buy a home in Great Falls.
Price of Rent on Price of Rent on
1,800 Sq Ft. 2 Bdrm., 1,800 Sq Ft. 2 Bdrm.
City House Unfrn. Apt. City House Unfrn. Apt.
Great Falls , Mont. $70,000 $398 Miami $103,440 $519
Houston $76,407 $371 Cedar Rapids, Iowa $113,000 $331
Salt Lake City $87,240 $343 San Diego $164,500 $840
Frnbrt $131,433 $405 Boston $290,000 $1,600
Source: American Chamber of Commerce Researchers Association