Scandals in the entertainment business can range from the Edison Chen type (sex/photo scandal) or the divorce/marriage type (Big S & Little Fei/Nic Tse & Cecilia Cheung). Then there are the in-betweens like smoking.
The photo above is Taiwanese actor Mike He caught smoking while hailing a cab in Taipei a few years ago. The issue there was how he smoked in a public area and threw the butt carelessly on the street soon after. And Taiwan has very stiff fines for smoking in non-smoking areas but this incident was just before the government passed that law.
The latest smoking scandal involves Arashi’s Sakurai Sho. The story broke when a staff of a hotel he stayed in Hokkaido during a work trip took photos of his room, including remnants of cigarette butts. (The staff acting creepy sniffing his pillow and towel is an entirely different matter.) Sakurai Sho, the future prime minister of Japan (OK, this is a fandom joke that not many would understand) smokes?! The horror!
Well, get over it.
Stars are people like you and me. They have foibles, they make mistakes, they have habits, some bad, including yes–smoking.
Sure, they are public figures and should set a good example especially to their fans who may emulate them. But for me, that’s fine, as long as they don’t go around smoking and brandishing the habit as if publicly endorsing it.
My only problem when it comes to stars smoking is if and when they are actively promoting a healthy lifestyle or tapped as endorsers for anti-smoking campaign, like Jay Chou.
Jay did an anti-smoking TVC with his grandmother, he claims he doesn’t smoke and no one has caught him smoking. But if he is caught smoking, then that’s an entirely different issue because he is endorsing anti-smoking and yet he’s doing the opposite.
Some people make the excuse that it’s understandable for stars to smoke because they are under a lot of stress. We do have different ways of coping with stress. Some go for sports or burn it out in the gym, some go drinking, some opt for retail therapy. Different strokes for different folks, so yeah, some may smoke to de-stress.
It’s your body, health and death. As long as smokers don’t impose their second-hand smoke on other people, that’s fine. Of course that’s impossible in countries where there is no anti-smoking law or the enforcement is weak.
But to be shocked and disgusted over stars who smoke… which cave or rock have you been living under?
I find it amusing that someone even set up a forum in soompi on stars who smoke. The thread has many pages already and even some photos, though be careful, oncamera smoking may be different from offcamera smoking.
At the end of the day, smoking is a personal choice, ne Takuya?