HE may be licensed to kill, but according to a new academic paper, James Bond should be worried about risks to his own health.

Researchers say the list is long – guns, violence, alcohol, unsafe driving and sexual partners keen to disable or kill him – but smoking remains the biggest threat to the spy’s wellbeing.

The claim is based on analysis of every Bond movie ever made, from Sean Connery’s first outing as 007 in 1962 to the latest Daniel Craig release in 2015.

Entitled Die Another Day, the results have now been published in the journal Tobacco Health, which is run by the British Medical Journal.

The authors, from the University of Otago in New Zealand, say the spy should know better, writing: “Bond’s smoking behaviour seemed at odds with his need for physical fitness as part of his job, his high level of education and his vast knowledge on many topics.”


PROFESSOR Nick Wilson and co-author Anne Wilson examined smoking-related content in all 24 Bond movies in the Eon Productions series from Dr No to Spectre. Although the MI6 agent quit in 2002, they found the series – which is the world’s longest-running and highest grossing movie franchise – has continued to feature tobacco-related material, with only one (2006’s Casino Royale) going truly smoke-free.

Second-hand smoke from sexual partners has continued to waft in his direction, although product placement of big brand tobacco has declined.

The authors wrote: “The persisting smoking content remains problematic from a public health perspective, especially given the popularity of this movie series.”

Detailed research has already been carried out into various aspects of the fictional spy’s life, including his heavy drinking, but until now the potential health impact of his smoky lifestyle has not been probed.The National:


CHANGING times have seen the spy speak out against smoking. In 1997’s Tomorrow Never Dies, Pierce Brosnan describes it as “a filthy habit”. However, in previous outings it took an average of just 20 minutes for the suited sharp-shooter to light up and he’d do it anywhere – in bed, driving, even flying a hang-glider.

His on-screen smoking peaked in the 1960s, when he puffed away in 83 per cent of the decade’s flicks, and while spy gadgets related to the practice featured in 80 per cent of 70s movies, they have not been seen since 1989.

Marlboro managed to get their products used in Moonraker, while Lark cigs appeared in Licence to Kill as part of a deal with Philip Morris to attack the Japanese market.

However, his romantic partners continue to puff away, exposing the lover to “high levels of second hand smoke... especially with post-coital smoking”. The “typically brief nature of his relationships” was found to limit the total dose of second hand smoke from partners, as was the “short lives” of his partners, around 30 per cent of whom die from violence.


AS well you might when you read the paper’s take on the hero’s overall lifestyle. It states that he probably has a “low life expectancy given a cumulative total of thousands of bullets being fired at him, and indeed ‘severe violence’ in Bond movies is increasing”, continuing, and he also has a very high intake of martinis and other alcohol and often drives very fast, even when just for fun. Furthermore, 15 per cent of his sexual partners try to disable, capture or kill him.”