From: Stuff

No baccy ban for lord of the smoke rings

Hobbits and wizards will not succumb to political correctness in The Lord Of The Rings films – they’ll be smoking up a storm.

The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation is concerned, with executive director Jenny Shieff fearing the impact on viewers, especially children.

The films should be released from late 2001.

British actor Sir Ian McKellen, who plays Gandalf, said in a radio interview yesterday that the characters in the trilogy would smoke pipes.

Having the characters puffing away showed director Peter Jackson was remaining faithful to what was written by the trilogy’s author J R R Tolkien, Sir Ian said.

“I was wondering whether because of political correctness, people’s worries of the dangers of smoking, that in a film a lot of children are likely to see we’d be asked to cut down the smoking or not have it.

“Although it is pipe smoking, which if you don’t inhale is safer than cigarettes. However, the hobbits, played as quite young people in our film, are all smoking away on their pipes . . .”