HOLLYWOOD VICE: Kate Hudson and Leonardo DiCaprio have recently been caught in public smoking. She appeared in Us Weekly, he in People.
Antismoking activists worry about the message sent to young people.
ANYONE following the goings-on of Mary-Kate Olsen in the weekly glossies knows that she is 19, that she attends New York University, that she has
battled anorexia and that she dates a Greek shipping heir.They also know that she smokes, thanks to the fact that this month alone she has
appeared in at least three celebrity magazines fishing for a cigarette or holding a Marlboro pack in one hand and a cigarette in another while
shopping in Los Angeles.
Such images of stars smoking off-screen were relatively rare five years ago, but with the proliferation of celebrity magazines and the competition
for candid pictures, more shots of celebrities smoking are being published, magazine editors, photographers and stars' publicists say. And with
smoking bans pushing smokers outdoors, "if you're going to smoke, you're going to get caught," said Gary Morgan, a founder of the photo agency
It is too early to document whether this kind of exposure can influence young readers to light up, but some antismoking groups have voiced
concern. While overall smoking rates have been down since the mid-90's, existing research has shown a direct correlation between on-screen smoking
and the onset of smoking in teenagers. Antismoking experts say that seeing celebrities smoking off-screen would have the same effect. One study,
by researchers at Dartmouth College, found that adolescents who viewed the most smoking in movies were almost three times more likely to take up
smoking than those who viewed the least.