Smoking Stars Fuel Online Obsession


Before, smoking was sexy because stars like Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn made it look sexy. Now, for some, smoking equals sex.

"Celebrating smoking as something truly sexy and erotic will key in to kids," said Dr. Leslie Walker, chief of adolescent medicine at Seattle Children's Hospital. "Those pictures alone might not change behavior but it's added to what they see on television and at the movies. The fact that these videos are just a few keystrokes away, it's disturbing."

What can be done? Stand outside of any fashion week tent or Hollywood night club -- the glitterati's lighting up, surgeon general's warnings be damned. Spangler suggested Moss and her ilk might "put on frumpy, old, dirty clothes and mess up their hair," but admitted that they'd probably still look pretty fabulous in spite of all that.

For children, there are website blockers and parental controls. For adults, there's the knowledge that momentary resurgence aside, smoking has been deplored for a long time, and grown people who want to emulate cigarette-chomping celebrities have bigger problems to address.

One note for Moss and Louis Vuitton, though: If shock value was what they had in mind, they could have done better.

"I'd rather see her walk the runway with a cheeseburger deluxe," said Michael Musto, culture critic for The Village Voice. "That could be deadly too, but at least she'd be making a statement against fashion-industry-generated eating disorders."

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