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Russell Crowe draws anti-smokers' ire

The actor reportedly broke New Zealand's anti-smoking laws, when he puffed his way through a concert, at an Auckland casino.

india Updated: Apr 03, 2006 18:21 IST

Film star Russell Crowe broke New Zealand's anti-smoking laws when he puffed his way through a concert with his band at an Auckland casino, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Crowe smoked cigarettes after each song with his band, the Ordinary Fear of God, and sometimes during songs - actions that breached the Smokefree Environment Act, which bans smoking in workplaces, bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

The Herald quoted a "shocked" Becky Freeman, director of the Action on Smoking and Health (Ash) organisation, as asking, "So he's above the law because he's a celebrity or something? Just because you're Russell Crowe doesn't mean you can do whatever you like."

The paper said it was the responsibility of the management at the SkyCity venue to have stopped him smoking during Friday night's concert.

Freeman said it was disappointing that a public figure like Crowe had such contempt for the law.

"He's a guest in one of our clubs," she said, "and he has an obligation to follow our rules."

Crowe was nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Jeffrey Wigand, who blew the whistle on tobacco companies in the United States, in the anti-tobacco movie The Insider.

First Published: Apr 03, 2006 18:21 IST