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Mad Men

Mad Men sparks ‘distressing’ Lucky Strike cigarette sales boom

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By John Glenday, Reporter

September 23, 2013 | 1 min read

Anti-smoking campaigners have reacted with anger to news that sales of Lucky Strike cigarettes have jumped from 23bn in 2007 to 33bn in 2012 – after being featured on hit US drama Mad Men.

The show charts the ups and downs of New York ad agency Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce and their client Lucky Strike, without shying away from the hard drinking cigarette puffing lifestyle of the period.

Lead character Don Draper is depicted as a chain smoker with a cigarette invariably in hand on screen.

Dr Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: "It's long been suspected that many people start smoking because they consider it 'cool'. It is possible that programmes like Mad Men, where successful men in sharp suits chain smoke throughout the programme, are playing a part in maintaining that image.

"Over the last decade, measures such as the smoking ban and the ban on tobacco advertising have helped cut the number of young people smoking in the UK.

"It would be deeply distressing if the glamorisation of smoking on TV was counteracting any of these achievements.”

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