• The Associated Press


With smokers increasingly shunned in public places, Japan’s largest cigarette maker is offering a rare treat — tickets to a film preview where they can smoke all they want.

Japan Tobacco, which sells nearly two-thirds of the nation’s cigarette products, has invited 150 lucky smokers chosen by lottery to a private showing of the film-noir thriller “Sin City” on Monday, company spokesman Tsuyoshi Miyashita said.

Anyone 20 or older could apply, but there was one condition attached — they had to pledge that they smoke.

“The event is to provide a rare opportunity for smokers to light up freely while watching the movie, so they can enjoy the film without suppressing their urge to smoke,” Miyashita said. “I remember seeing filmgoers smoke in theaters, but it’s impossible today.”

The planned event, believed to be the first in Japan, is part of JT’s “Smart Smoke” campaign to promote its new products with reduced cigarette odor, but the filmgoers can smoke any cigarettes they like, the spokesman said.

While Japan’s smoking rate remains one of the highest in the developed world, lighting up has been banned in movie theaters and other public facilities.

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