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WHEN YOU’RE HOT . . . YOU’RE SMOKING

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.

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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.

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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.”


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