Anyone who’s ever seen “Miami Vice” knows that it is the hot show on TV. Literally.

Don Johnson, who plays snappy cop Sonny Crockett, is seldom seen without a cigarette.

Said an NBC publicist, “Don happens to be a smoker and that’s how he sees the character.”

The American Cancer Society has another view: “We think the writers ought to get him into a quit (smoking) clinic--the sooner the better,” said Irving Rimer, vice president for public relations at the society’s New York headquarters.

According to Rimer, the society has long been concerned about the show’s tobacco habit: “It’s been brought up at every meeting we’ve had with the American Heart Assn. and the American Lung Assn. I hear that show’s name over and over again. It’s a flagrant example of what we’re concerned about.

“We were encouraged by TV’s trend of putting cigarettes in the mouths of villains, deviates and troubled individuals. But this is a turn-about.


“When you put a cigarette in the mouth of a hero and he is a cop on the side of right, it makes smoking look attractive and courageous to young people who are watching.”

Rogers & Cowan, PR agency for the show, said the producers couldn’t be reached for comment.

Johnson’s publicist didn’t dodge: “Don is committed to trying to stop (smoking) in the very near future. It’s something we’ve talked about.” With a nod to recent published reports about his past problems with drugs and alcohol, she added: “He’s gotten rid of his other vices. He’ll also try to overcome this last one.”