Michael Jordan

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This article is part of the Tobacco portal on Sourcewatch funded from 2006 - 2009 by the American Legacy Foundation.

Michael Jordan is a former NBA basketball legend who has fought laws restricting indoor public smoking, who models and supports smoking behavior, and who breaks laws restricting smoking in specific locales. Jordan has been a headline celebrity at golf tournaments that are held to raise money for Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Global Cancer Campaign and the Livestrong Foundation, ostensibly to fight cancer.

Smelling good, smelling bad

Fragrance merchandising

In 1997, Jordan advertised the eponymous fragrance, "Michael Jordan Cologne."[1]

Fighting smoking laws

In 1999, Michael Jordan owned a New York City restaurant in Grand Central Station, Michael Jordan's "The Steak House," that legally challenged that City's regulation prohibiting smoking in public buildings. City officials argued that according to the anti-smoking law, the bar in the restaurant was not small enough to be exempt, and that smoking was being allowed in too many spaces in the restaurant. Jordan sued, and the City lost the challenge.[2]

Jordan's comments on product endorsements, including cigarettes, cigars

In an interview printed in VIBE magazine in 1997, Michael Jordan commented on endorsements he would not consider: "I would never do anything like Rogaine. I mean that's just hoping and wishing that I can get an Afro next week. Or, I wouldn't do cigarettes, cigars. I don't want to project something that's viewed negatively by a lot of people - but I love cigars . Shee-it, I'd smoke a cigar in a heartbeat. I smoke 'em, but I wouldn't endorse 'em. And condoms. I mean, even though everybody gotta use them. But they too small! They gotta get some bigger ones. I'd endorse the big ones." [3][4]

Breaking San Francisco's public smoking law

The City of San Francisco asked Michael Jordan to stop smoking cigars on a city-owned golf course after a photo of him appeared on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle's "Sporting Green" section breaking the municipal ban on smoking on public golf courses. Jordan could face a $100 fine. [5][6]

Modeling smoking

In 1992, Jordan posed for the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine holding a cigar:

Jordan sports illus.jpg

Michael Jordan was photographed smoking a cigar in summer, 2009 at a celebrity golf tournament to promote the anti-cancer organization, the Livestrong Foundation. (See the Livestrong Foundation article in SourceWatch for photos printed on the front pages of newspapers local to the tournament location, Lake Tahoe, NV.)

In April 2006, Jordan posed for the cover of Cigar Aficionado:



  1. Bijan Fragrances Michael Jordan Cologne Advertisement, 1 page. 1997. Bates No. 2069506297
  2. Michael Riccardi, Law News Network Online "Michael Jordan's Eatery Slam-Dunks NYC Anti-Smoking Law" News article/email. September 24, 1999. Bates No. 2076716877B
  3. Source: Chris Rock, "Mike Checka," VIBE, February 1997, p. 50, February 4, 1997
  4. Advocacy Institute, et al Say No to Menthol Joe Crusade successfully launched Computer printout of news articles. 4 pp. February 4, 1997. Bates No.2078824247A/4250
  5. Philip Matier, Andrew Ross Michael Jordan caught smoking San Francisco Chronicle, October 7, 2009
  6. Mark Medina Michael Jordan gets a no-smoking reminder, Los Angeles Times, Totally Random; October 8, 2009

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