That’s It. Everyone’s Fired.

Set your scanners to Smashin’, people. Anti-tobacco Nazis are waging war against Rango for its numerous depictions of characters smoking and holy crap I want to put my fist straight through this story. After the jump, I plan on losing my mind until my blood pressure hits 600/400 and I just stroke out and die where I sit. Eh, I had a good run.

But before I do that, let me get two things out of the way. First, I used to be a smoker. Every day for 7+ years, I smoked anywhere from a handful of cigarettes to well over a full pack. After trying to quit a crapload of times, it finally stuck and I haven’t had one in five-ish years. Big whoop. I didn’t do it for applause or anything. I did it because it’s gross and expensive, and daddy likes breathing and having some change jingle-jangling in his pocket. Second of all, now that I’m not essentially breathing fire a few dozen times a day, I certainly understand people who want to go to a bar for happy hour and not come out smelling like Lindsay Lohan’s voice. My issue lies not with these people. My issue lies with people who want to pass ordinances restricting smoking outside (OUTSIDE) or in your own home. Or, in this case, people who want EVERY MOVIE THAT CONTAINS A SINGLE INSTANCE OF SMOKING TO BE RATED R. These people are not to be trusted.

Ok, let’s take this story apart limb by limb.

From a USA Today story titled “PG-rated ‘Rango’ has anti-smoking advocates fuming”:

The film, which opened Friday and topped the weekend box office with a gross of $38 million, includes at least 60 instances of characters smoking, said Kori Titus, CEO of the Sacramento-based non-profit Breathe California.

One of Breathe California’s projects is “Thumbs Up! Thumbs Down!” — in which trained young people and adults analyze films’ tobacco content. Each time a character is seen smoking is counted as one instance, Titus said, adding she was taken aback when she received an e-mail Sunday about the frequency of smoking in Rango. The only other animated film on par with that, she said, was 101 Dalmatians, with about 60 instances of Cruella De Vil smoking.

Well, this is certainly a worthwhile endeavor. Counting up every instance of smoking in every film ever made and comparing them to each other? I’m sure as Kori Titus lays on her deathbed (with her pristine lungs intact), she will turn to her children, and say with her dying words, “My only regret is that I didn’t count more instances of smoking in popular culture.”

Additionally, and I think this is an important point, Cruella De Vil was a crazy woman who wanted to murder dozens of puppies to make a coat. If I was an anti-smoking advocate, I’d be ELATED she was a smoker.

Because there are so many scenes in which characters smoke, she said, her group might not be able to get a definitive count until Rango comes out on DVD.