Smoking in "Avatar": Necessary to "Reflect Reality"?

James Cameron's new blockbuster movie Avatar won a "black lung" rating for gratuitous smoking from the Web site, which rates motion pictures according to the amount of smoking they show. Avatar is a futuristic fantasy that takes place sometime in the 22nd century. In it, Sigourney Weaver plays an environmental scientist who puffs on cigarettes as she tries to save the moon Pandora. Cameron responded to the accusation of gratuitous smoking in Avatar by saying that smoking is a "filthy habit" that he does not support, but that smoking in movies is necessary to portray reality:

...[S]peaking as an artist, I don't believe in the dogmatic idea that no one in a movie should smoke. Movies should reflect reality.

Stanton Glantz, director of the University of California San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, says the smoking scenes in Avatar hand millions of dollars' worth of free advertising to cigarette makers, and points out that the very idea of a chain-smoking environmental scientist is in itself a gratuitous bit of fantasy.


toxic and carcinogenic AND untested additives galore, and so forth. They want to scapegoat the unpatented natural tobacco plant for all the reported illnesses and deaths. The Blame The Victim ruse is not new. With corporatized mainstream media, and with PR watchers who don't watch anything in this area, it now works better than ever.

Here's a relevant scene involving the tobacco PR maven trying to hook kids in "Thank You for Smoking":

--Nick Naylor: Now, what we need is a smoking role model, a real winner. . . . two packs a day. . . .

--Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.

--Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space? . . . But wouldn't they blow up in an all-oxygen environment?

--Jeff Megall: [long pause] Probably. But, you know, it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue: 'Thank God we created the, you know, whatever device.'

Maybe those "cigarettes" (undefined for content) in Avatar were not the typical multi-ingredient, highly-processed, chlorine-contaminated (dioxin-delivering), pesticide-contaminated, radiation-contaminated (from certain still legal fertilizers), burn-accelerant-adulterated, etc., products we have today.

Maybe the Avatar future cigarettes were just plain tobacco, with no non-tobacco industrial toxins and carcinogens or untested stuff.

And maybe, due to some revolution, legitimate science, freed from corporate profit restraints, rose from the ashes to educate the public about the medicinal values of tobacco for stress relief, appetite suppression, digestive relief, alertness, and even symptomatic relief for Parkinson's and Alzheimer's....and how inhalation of the natural plant smoke (as opposed to some patented corporate substitute) is the best way (as it is with cannabis) to get the positive effects.

Don't know about tobacco pesticides and dioxins and the radiation? Many, sadly, do not. Just google up "Fauxbacco" or "Bill Drake Smoke and Illusion" for pretty much all one needs to go free from the corporate spins on the topic.

What an irresponsible posting. You pushing American Spirits for RJR?

Your "medicinal value of tobacco" is utter hogwash. Smoking _exacerbates_ stress. 44% of all cigarettes are sold to the mentally ill. Studies have found they're not self-medicating--smoking is making their mental difficulties worse. Smoking is a _risk factor_ for Alzheimer's, and dementia in general. And Bill Drake himself would caution you from selling people smoking for "digestive relief."

Evidence for everything else save Parkinson's is very feeble, even contradictory. In science, one or two studies is not enough. You got Parkinson's--NOTHING else.

Additives/pesticides may or may not worsen the effects, but overwhelmingly, the addiction and principal harms of smoking come directly from the tars, carbon monoxide, nicotine and cancer-causing nitrosamines that result from the burning and inhaling of plain old ordinary tobacco.

No matter what RJR would like people to think, "Natural" tobacco is NOT a less harmful way to smoke.

Back to Avatar: While a hypothetical viewer is busy rationalizing whether the cigarettes Cigourney Weaver smoke are different from today's--despite their looking identical-- he's missing the movie.

I couldn't help notice Sigourney clearly is not an ash-head ! Any committed shmoker knows - she ain't - the lips are a give-away. I found it a strange "implant" though, sets the movie apart from Disney where never a spliff shall be succked,. life imitating art?! I don't think so

- Those who only warn about and condemn the natural parts of tobacco and its smoke fail to condemn the same things from candles, incense (even in churches), campfires, stoves, wood burning kits, and anything else. Arbitrariness gives away a lot. It's as if they hope to hide the Huge Importance and harms of tobacco pesticides, dioxin-producing chlorine pesticides and chlor-bleached paper, carcinogenic rads from certain fertilizers, toxic and carcinogenic AND untested additives galore, and so forth. They want to scapegoat the unpatented natural tobacco plant for all the reported illnesses and deaths. The Blame The Victim ruse is not new. With corporatized mainstream media, and with PR watchers who don't watch anything in this area, it now works better than ever.

- That RJR bought out American Spirit is a tragedy. Am. Spirit cannot fight against the slurs and lies about effects of tobacco smoke...meaning plain tobacco...because their new "boss" is one of the purveyors of the bad stuff...the fake and highly-contaminated tobacco. RJR should be an evil COMPETITOR to Am. Spirit, not it's owner. It's like Al Capone owning the cops.
As of now, Am,. Spirit can't even truthfully and importantly label it's Organic Tobacco as Organic. Did they put up a fight...perhaps to the Sup Court? No.

- How does THAT work as precedent for food producers labeling products, correctly, as organic? Will that "suggest" a safer food? SAYS it's a safer food. Big Food Processing won't like that truthfulness.

-- Searches for benefits of tobacco indeed do turn up "digestive relief" often...thus explaining one reason why tobacco has been used since time began (or a bit later) after meals and otherwise. As for tobacco being an appetite suppressant, natural plants in all parts of the world have been used for that purpose for eons...khat, coca, betel nuts, etc. Guess what...they're all now "ILLEGAL". They just compete too well with the patented pharm products to do the same things.
Cannabis, which helps produce appetite, is also "illegal" generally. It's just that Nature Is Not Allowed To Interfere With Big Biz. No money in it.

-- It is absolutely absurd to say that plain tobacco, as has been used for about ten thousand years, is no different in "safety" from products that contain pesticides, dioxin-creating chlorine, burn accelerants, addiction enhancers, rads from those fertilizers, kid-attracting sweets and flavors etc., and toxins and co-carcinogens galore in the selection from lists of over 1000 UNTESTED non-tobacco cig additives. Dioxin-free ANYTHING is automatically the safer. Has Agent Orange, and Rachel Carson, been erased from the books?

It's not that "there's no safe dose of tobacco smoke", it is that certifiably there is NO Safe Dose of cigarette smoke or wherever. To ignore chlorine in this "smoking'" brouhaha is to be either lying or badly misinformed.
I mean....much of the "anti smoking" establishment IS the Chlorine Industry...covering up their complicity...scapegoating both Mother Nature and the unwitting victims who think and are still viciously told it's just tobacco. The Big Lie of our era....a lie that frighteningly has corrupted so much of our vital medical science system. Just TRY to get a body burden test for pesticides and dioxin etc.
Insurance won't cover it because, likely, the for-profit insurer invests Billions in most or all of the chlorine cartel. Nice system.

How many "smoking related death" victims have been autopsied for dioxins and pesticides and that PO-210 fertilizer radiation? Any?

Are you telling me that in 2154 people are going to still be smoking? That's ridiculous. A society that can achieve interstellar travel still smokes? I couldn't get past that part of the movie. There's a character that is a scientist 150 years in the future and she smokes. FOR REAL? Are you kidding me. Whoever thought that up is an IDIOT.

A society that can achieve interstellar travel still smokes?

And why not? A society that put men on the moon still believes in creationism. In fact, the first thing one of those men did when he got back from the moon was to mount an expedition to find Noah's Ark on Ararat.

It takes more than advancing technology to change human nature. :-(

Instead of promoting development of a delivery system for ingesting the active ingredient of tobacco, which has recognized beneficial effects (along with some deleterious side effects, like most biologically effective pharmaceuticals), independently of the wizards brew of carcinogenic hydrocarbons that form from combustion of the tobacco and various additives, anti-smoking zealots demonize tobacco company attempts to accomplish that goal while they persist in milking the revenue stream from sale of the "dangerous" delivery system for statist programs.

Yes, we want to end Evil Tobacco, but in the meantime, let's tax the snot out of the smokers and sue the pants off the manufacturers to get more money for doing well by doing good. Surely some of the booty acquired thereby will stick to our fingers so we can run largely ineffective "don't smoke" programs, even if our rapacious state legislators divert most of it to their pet pork projects, like they do with the "For Education" state lotteries and other schemes for preying on the devotees of magical thinking.