Tobacco companies paid Hollywood stars in the 1930s and 1940s millions of dollars in today's money to endorse certain brands
of Cigarettes, research has found.
A study published in Tobacco Control today looked at cigarette endorsement contracts between tobacco companies and
studio-controlled movie stars as well as adverts from the period.
Looking at the period from 1927 to 1951, the researchers found that in return for paid testimonials of their stars in cigarette
adverts, major studios benefited from print and radio ads for themselves and their movies in deals, paid by the tobacco
The Hollywood studios with the most 'cross over' deals were Paramount and Warner Bros, today's report claims.
In total almost 200 actors took part in cigarette endorsements, including two thirds of the top 50 box office Hollywood stars in
the late 1930s through to the 1940s.
Stars such as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracey, Joan Crawford, John Wayne, Bette Davis, Betty Grable and singer Al Jolson all
appeaRed in endorsements for cigarette brands such as Lucky Strike, Old Gold, Chesterfield, and Camel.
American Tobacco alone paid the stars who endorsed Lucky Strike Cigarettes $218,750 (?118,374) in the late 1930s, equivalent
to $3.2 million (?1.73 million) in today's money.
The authors of the report conclude that smoking in movies is associated with teens and young adults starting to smoke and that
its continual presence in early cinema was down to the lucrative deals between the studios and the tobacco companies.