Thank You for Smoking

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Thank You for Smoking is a 2005 comedy that is a satirical look at the machinations of Big Tobacco's chief spokesman, Nick Naylor, who spins on behalf of cigarettes while trying to remain a role model for his twelve-year-old son.

Written and directed by Jason Reitman, based on the novel by Christopher Buckley.
America is living in spin. taglines

Nick Naylor

  • After watching the footage of the Kent State shootings, Bobby Jay, then seventeen, signed up for the National Guard so that he too could shoot college students.
  • How many alcohol related deaths a year? 100,000? That's, what, 270 a day? Tragedy.
  • I don't have an M.D. or Law degree. I have a bachelors in kicking ass and taking names.
  • I front an organization that kills 1,200 people a day.
  • The message Hollywood needs to send out is that smoking is cool. We can put the sex back into cigarettes.
  • Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent.
  • The number 1 killer in America is cholesterol, and here comes Senator Finisterre who's clogging the nation's arteries with Vermont cheddar cheese.
  • These days, when someone smokes in the movies, they're either a psychopath … or a European.
  • You know that guy that can get any girl? I'm him … on crack.
  • Everyone's got a mortgage to pay. [inner monologue] The Yuppie Nuremberg defense.


  • BR: We don't sell Tic Tacs, for Christ's sake, we sell cigarettes. And they're cool, available, and addictive. The job is almost done for us.
  • Senator Ortolan Finistirre: The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese.
  • Heather Holloway: My other interviews have pinned you as a mass murderer, blood sucker, pimp, profiteer and my personal favorite, yuppie Mephistopheles.
  • Doak "The Captain" Boykin: You're family now. Tobacco takes care of its own.
  • Joey Naylor: It's like you always said, Dad, "If you want an easy job, go work for the Red Cross."
  • Bobby Jay Bliss : It was some pretty fucked up shit.


Nick Naylor: I speak on behalf of cigarettes.
Child: My mommy says that cigarettes kill.
Nick Naylor: Now, is your mommy a doctor?
Child: No.
Nick Naylor: A scientific researcher of some kind?
Child: No.
Nick Naylor: Now, she doesn't exactly sound like a credible expert now, does she?
Child: [sinks back into her chair]

Nick Naylor: Now, what we need is a smoking role model, a real winner.
Jeff Megall: Indiana Jones meets Jerry Maguire.
Nick Naylor: Right, on two packs a day.

Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they're looking to make.
Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?
Jeff Megall: It's the final frontier, Nick.
Nick Naylor: But wouldn't they blow up in an all-oxygen environment?
Jeff Megall: [Long pause] Probably. But, you know, it's an easy fix. One line of dialogue: "Thank God we created the, you know, whatever device."

Joey: What happens when you're wrong?
Nick Naylor: See, Joey, that's the beauty of argument. When you argue correctly, you're never wrong.

Nick Naylor: Jeff, when do you sleep?
Jeff Megall: Sunday.

[Inside the elevator at Entertainment Global Offices (EGO)]
Jack: Do you hear that?
Nick Naylor (pause): No.
Jack: Exactly!

[Nick Naylor and his son arguing about ice cream]
Joey: So, what happens when you're wrong?
Nick: Well, Joey, I'm never wrong.
Joey: But you can't always be right.
Nick: Well, if it's your job to be right, then you're never wrong.
Joey: But what if you are wrong?
Nick: Okay, let's say that you're defending chocolate and I'm defending vanilla. Now, if I were to say to you, "Vanilla's the best flavor ice cream", you'd say …?
Joey: "No, chocolate is."
Nick: Exactly. But you can't win that argument. So, I'll ask you: So you think chocolate is the end-all and be-all of ice cream, do you?
Joey: It's the best ice cream; I wouldn't order any other.
Nick: Oh. So it's all chocolate for you, is it?
Joey: Yes, chocolate is all I need.
Nick: Well, I need more than chocolate. And for that matter, I need more than vanilla. I believe that we need freedom and choice when it comes to our ice cream, and that, Joey Naylor, that is the definition of liberty.
Joey: But that's not what we're talking about.
Nick: Ah, but that's what I'm talking about.
Joey: But … you didn't prove that vanilla's the best.
Nick: I didn't have to. I proved that you're wrong, and if you're wrong, I'm right.
Joey: But you still didn't convince me.
Nick: Because I'm not after you. I'm after them.

Joey: You're The Sultan of Spin!
Nick: "The Sultan of Spin"?
Joey: Mom subscribes to Newsweek.

Joey: Why did you tell that reporter all your secrets?
Nick: You're too young to understand.
Joey: Mom says it's because you have dependency issues and it was all just a matter of time before you threw it all away on some tramp.
Nick: Well, that's one theory.

[Nick and Heather are introducing themselves to each other]
Heather Holloway: Heather Holloway.
Nick: Nick Naylor. Big Tobacco.
Heather Holloway (holds up tape recorder): Is this kosher?
Nick: Only if I can call you Heather.
Heather Holloway: By all means. So, Mr. Naylor …
Nick (interrupting): Nick.
Heather Holloway: Nick. Let's start with …
Nick: '82 Margaux.
Heather Holloway: Okay. Is it good?
Nick: "Good"? It'll make you believe in God.

Jack: Hey, Neil! Neil! I'm going to impale your mom on a spike and feed her dead body to my dog with syphilis!
Neil: Ha, you got me!
[Jack turns back to Joey and Nick, who both look confused.]
Jack: It's an inside joke.

Nick: What?
Bobby: I got a call from the paper.
Nick: Really? What they want?
Bobby: They wanted to correct spelling of my name and job title.
Polly: You didn't tell her about us, did you?
Nick: Who? … Heather? No! … I mean, maybe in passing.
Polly: In passing.
Bobby: Oh God, he fucked her. I tried to warn you …
Polly: Hey, he didn't fuck her. You didn't fuck her, did you? … When?
Bobby: In passing.
Nick: Look, she's a really nice girl.
Bobby: Oh God, we're really fucked.

Senator Ortolan Finistirre: Please state your name, address, and current occupation.
Nick: My name is Nick Naylor. I live at 6000 Massachusetts Avenue. I am currently unemployed but until recently I was the Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: Mr. Naylor, as Vice President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies, what was required of you? What did you do?
Nick: I informed the public of all the research performed in the investigation on the effects of tobacco.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: And what, so far, has the Academy concluded in their investigation into the effects of tobacco?
Nick: Well, many things actually. Why just the other day they uncovered evidence that smoking can offset Parkinson's disease.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: I'm sure the health community is thrilled. Mr. Naylor, who provides the financial background for the Academy of Tobacco Studies?
Nick: Conglomerated Tobacco.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: That's the cigarette companies.
Nick: For the most part, yes.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: Do you think that might affect their priorities?
Nick: No. Just as, I'm sure, campaign contributions don't affect yours.
Senator Lothridge: Mr. Naylor is not hear to testify on the goings on of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. We're hear to examine the possibility of a warning label on cigarettes. Now, Mr. Naylor, I have to ask you out of formality, do you believe that smoking cigarettes, over time, can lead to lung cancer and lead to other respiratory conditions such as emphysema.
Nick: Yes. In fact, I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who really believes that cigarettes are not potentially harmful. I mean -- show of hands -- Who out here thinks that cigarettes aren't dangerous?
Senator Dupree: Mr. Naylor, there's no need for theatrics.
Nick: I'm sorry. I just don't see the point in a warning label for something people already know.
Senator Dupree: The warning symbol is a reminder, a reminder of the dangers of smoking cigarettes.
Nick: Well, if we want to remind people of danger why don't we slap a skull and crossbones on all Boeing airplanes, Senator Lothridge. And all Fords, Senator Dupree.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: That is ridiculous. The death toll from airline and automobile accidents doesn't even skim the surface cigarettes. They don't even compare.
Nick: Oh, this from a Senator who calls Vermont home.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: I don't follow you, Mr. Naylor.
Nick: Well, the real demonstrated #1 killer in America is cholesterol. And here comes Senator Finistirre whose fine state is, I regret to say, clogging the nation's arteries with Vermont Cheddar Cheese. If we want to talk numbers, how about the millions of people dying of heart attacks? Perhaps Vermont Cheddar should come with a skull and crossbones.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: That is lu --. The great state of Vermont will not apologize for its cheese!
Senator Lothridge: Mr. Naylor, we are here to discuss cigarettes -- not planes, not cars -- cigarettes. Now as we discussed earlier these warning labels are not for those who know but rather for those who don't know. What about the children?
Nick: Gentlemen, it's called education. It doesn't come off the side of a cigarette carton. it comes from our teachers, and more importantly our parents. It is the job of every parent to warn their children of all the dangers of the world, including cigarettes, so that one day when they get older they can choose for themselves. I look at my son who was kind enough to come with me today, and I can't help but think that I am responsible for his growth and his development. And I'm proud of that.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: Well, having said that, would you condone him smoking?
Nick: Well, of course not. He's not 18. That would be illegal.
Senator Ortolan Finistirre: Yes, I've heard you deliver that line on 20/20, but enough dancing. What are you going to do when he turns 18? C'mon, Mr. Naylor. On his 18th birthday will you share a cigarette with him? Will you spend a lovely afternoon -- like one of your ludicrous cigarette advertisements? You seem to have to have a lot to say about how we should raise our children. What of your own? What are you going to do when he turns 18?
Nick: If he really wants a cigarette. I'll buy him his first pack.


  • America is living in spin.
  • Nick Naylor doesn't hide the truth … he filters it.


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