Is there a meaning behind Nick Naylor never smoking a cigarette in Thank You for Smoking, despite his character being a smoker? Or was it just that Eckhart didn't want to smoke. In several scenes you see him looking at an empty pack of cigarettes, but he never smokes.
Director Jason Reitman made the decision of not showing any actual smoking of cigarettes.
The movie is adopted from the novel "Thank You for Smoking" by Christopher Buckley. His conversation with NYT:
Mr. Buckley said Jason Reitman, the director, purposely omitted any smoking. "The movie, as he put it, is about other things," Mr. Buckley said in an e-mail message. "But it was very deliberate, and I think rather cool."
Personally I think they didn't want to promote smoking, the movie doesn't push this message in his dialogues, but clearly
Nick getting sick
was a way of showing how cigarettes are dangerous for you. They didn't want to alienate smokers either by pushing a message constantly on them in the dialogues, the movie can be humorous and clever for both smokers and non-smokers. The movie look like a cigarette commercial, but it send the message that it's not and at the same time is a movie about another subject than smoking. It's really clever and makes it for me one of the best comedies ever made.