This is written by Jason Reitman, the guy who went on to direct Juno, and more recently Up In The Air. Thank You For Smoking was his debut film.
Nick Naylor: Few people on this planet know what it is to be truly despised. Can you blame them? I earn a living fronting an organizing that kills one thousand two hundred human beings a day; twelve hundred people. We’re talking two jumbo jet plane loads of men, women, and children. I mean there’s Attila, Genghis, and me, Nick Naylor the face of cigarettes, the colonel sanders of nicotine. This is where I work, the Academy of Tobacco Studies. It was established by seven gentlemen you may recognize from C-Span. These guys realized quick if they were gonna claim cigarettes were not addictive they better have proof. This is the man they rely on, Erhardt Von Grupten Mundt. They found him in Germany. I won’t go into the details. He’s been testing the link between nicotine and lung cancer for thirty years, and hasn’t found any conclusive results. The man’s a genius, he could disprove gravity. Then we got our sharks. We draft them out of Ivy League law schools and give them timeshares and sports cars. It’s just like a John Grisham novel. Well you know without all the espionage. Most importantly we got spin control. That’s where I come in. I get paid to talk. I don’t have an MD or law degree. I have a baccalaureate in kicking ass and taking names. You know that guy who can pick up any girl, I’m him on crack.
I love the raw unapologetic arrogance of this dialogue. And the whole movie for that matter. You should watch it, to develop your convictions even better, regardless of whether you smoke or not. I watched it for the first time, when I didn’t smoke. And have been watching it from time to time.