How Responsible Should Celebrity Smokers Be About Their Habits?


There are millions of cigarette smokers in the world, which is one of the reasons so many people get hooked on cigarettes — the popularity and widespread nature of the habit. There are not too many celebrities on earth, but many of them smoke as we have reported on in the past. One of the other reasons people often cite kids getting stuck on smoking is that people they look up to smoke, so they wind up thinking it is all right. This inevitably winds up begging the question, how responsible should celebrity smokers be about their habits with regard to their fans?

The reason I started to think about this was because I saw a photo of Taylor Momsen smoking in New York City the other day. I was a little unsettled because even though she’s only four years younger than I, I guess I still see her as one of the younger actresses in Hollywood, and it’s weird to see her doing something so unhealthy. Granted, I was a smoker at 19, too, but I was mainly ruining my own health and not influencing thousands of teenagers.

Momsen, for those of you who don’t know, played a young character on Gossip Girl for years. Considering how widely beloved that show is among teenagers and younger kids, it would make sense to call Momsen a role model to some of them. That said, she is just an actress and this is merely her job; being famous does not necessarily mean you need to alter your lifestyle to fit with how many people will be looking up to your habits. Charlie Sheen, for example, lives a pretty unhealthy public life and many people do not consider him some form of bizarre role model at all.

So, is it your audience that dictates whether or not you’re a role model? Should celebrity smokers feel guilty for showing people that smoking can be done by beautiful successful people and whatnot? Or should we already know better and just ignore their habits anyway? I wish I could say I could come to a conclusion on this, but I think for now, the only one that I can make is that nobody should smoke cigarettes because of their health, and it will always make you a good role model to do that.

Photo: Shutterstock

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    • Eileen

      You know who I think needs to be more responsible? Employers. I’ve never smoked and pretty much think less of you as a human being if you do, but I’ve been tempted to buy a pack and pretend when I see how many breaks smokers get throughout the day. Even at the last company I worked for, which technically did not allow cigarette breaks or smoking on its property, at least half my coworkers got extra breaks multiple times a day, whereas I was stuck actually working. I don’t think celebrities owe their fans responsible behavior – I don’t think anyone is a model of all responsible actions, all the time, when put under a celebrity spotlight – but the ordinary people whom the general public will actually encounter in their lives should do a better job of making unhealthy habits unappealing.