Discuss as:

Senators slam Golden Globes for 'glamorizing' e-cigarettes during show

NBC News

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, puffed on an e-cigarette, with Reese Witherspoon, for comedic effect.

A group of senators on Tuesday sharply criticized a comedy bit during the Sunday broadcast of the Golden Globes that featured actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus puffing on an electronic cigarette, accusing the awards show of "glamorizing" the controversial devices.

"In light of studies showing that exposure to on-screen smoking is a major contributor to smoking initiation among youth, we are troubled that these images glamorize smoking and serve as celebrity endorsements that could encourage young fans to begin smoking traditional cigarettes or e-cigarettes," the lawmakers said in an open letter to the producers of show.

The senators — Dick Durbin, D-IL, Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, Sherrod Brown, D-OH, and Edward J. Markey, D-MA — called on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC Universal to "take action to ensure that future broadcasts" don't make light of the health risks associated with tobacco.

Louis-Dreyfus — nominated at the ceremony for her roles in the film "Enough Said" and the television series "Veep" — was seen drawing from an "e-cigarette" and blowing smoke out of her mouth as part of a gag skewering haughty Hollywood behavior. 

"She has really changed," co-host Amy Poehler deadpanned from the stage, as Louis-Dreyfus, wearing cat-eye sunglasses, caricatured a snooty star.

Leonardo DiCaprio, who took home a statuette for his performance in "The Wolf of Wall Street," could also be seen taking a drag from an e-cig during the broadcast.

The HFPA and NBC Universal did not have an immediate response to the letter.

NBC News' Kasie Hunt contributed to this report.

Related: 

The best Golden Globe moments