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'Basic Instinct' Screenwriter Eszterhas Joins Anti-smoking Campaign

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Los Angeles (dpa) Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who lost part of his larynx to cancer, is starring in a new series of anti- smoking ads for the Cleveland Clinic foundation, U.S. media reported Thursday.

The 58-year-old writer, whose credits include Jagged Edge, Showgirls and Basic Instinct, is lending his ragged voice to a campaign entitled 'Join Joe'.

The campaign is aimed at helping people kick the habit or discouraging them from taking it up, and will air in cinemas and on television across the United States.

"I'm hoping that my cancer and my voice will neutralize the pro- smoking message in the movies," said Eszterhas, who accuses the film industry of glamorizing cigarettes.

"I describe this as a loaded weapon aimed at a 12-year-old and a 14-year-old. And the gun goes off when they're 50" he added.

Eszterhas, who started smoking at 12, was diagnosed with throat cancer three years ago. He is now in remission.

Since his illness he has turned his back on tinseltown, alcohol and cigarettes, and returned to live in Cleveland, where he grew up.

Copyright 2003 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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