Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Targeting celebs: ASH versus Albarn

From Das Bild two months ago:

The EU has declared war against smokers! Brussels wants to eliminate cigarettes with a ‘smoking police’, ashtray bans and high-publicity legal processes against celebrities who enjoy a puff.

• Celebrities who smoke will also be targeted and exposed publicly as smoking offenders.

Which was based on this EU document...

When active enforcement begins, many jurisdictions recommend the use of high-profile prosecutions to enhance deterrence. By identifying prominent violators who have actively defied the law or who are well known in the community, by taking firm and swift action and by seeking maximum public awareness of these activities, authorities are able to demonstrate their resolve and the seriousness of the law.

Which brings us to Damon Albarn of Blur and Gorillaz...

Prosecute Damon Albarn over on stage cigarette urges anti-smoking charity

An anti-smoking charity called today for Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn to be prosecuted for smoking a cigarette on stage on the first night of a tour.

Bass guitarist Paul Simonon, formerly of The Clash, also smoked during the show in front of an "intimate" audience of about 500 fans.

Now the anti-smoking charity Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) has called for Albarn and Simonon to be prosecuted to make an example of them.

Spokeswoman Amanda Sandford said: "There can be no excuse for that as it is an indoor place and the law is very clear."

"No-one is allowed to smoke on stage unless it's relevant to the act. They should be fined. It's not just the artist, it's the premises where the act is held. I would expect the local authority to take the appropriate action. It's not just illegal but more importantly it's about the message it sends out to fans."

"People in the public eye have a duty not to promote smoking. It's very irresponsible - I suppose they think it's rebellious and they may get some extra kudos from it and maybe some extra publicity."

Hmm. Who do you think is trying to get "extra publicity" here? Unpopular, state-funded pressure group ASH or world famous musician Damon Albarn? 


Sue said...

email: amanda.sandford@ash.org.uk

Of course, you can always tell her yourself :)

Spartan said...

Reminds me of when they threatened to fine Keith Richards of the Stones for smoking on stage at Hampden Park, Scotland during a gig.

The fine was an extortionate amount of £50 which would've no doubt put Richards under extreme financial pressure!

Eventually the Smoking SS backed off and said Hampden Park stage was outside the smoking legislation.

l'm sure Keith Richards was very relieved to hear so!

Anonymous said...

Lily Allen, Damon Albarn. All we need now is another holiday photo of Wayne Rooney puffing away by a pool following a hat trick in England's World Cup victory. What a Trinity of smelly, unattractive nicotine addict, loser, feted, million....: er, something not quite making sense.

Anonymous said...

Keep the own goals up ASH.
This publicity shows you up to a wider audience to be the true bunch of spitefull vitreolic grey little nobodies you really are.