Nicole Kidman's latest award as NSW AUSTRALIAN OF THE YEAR has caused
controversy after anti-smoking groups renewed their call for the actress to
quit her nicotine habit.
The OSCAR-winning beauty, dubbed 'Our Nic' in her native Australia, was
named New South Wales state champion in the Australian Of The Year awards in
Sydney on Tuesday night (30NOV04).
Following her triumph, Australian health authorities have reacted with
fury, claiming Kidman, as a smoker, is a bad role model for young Aussies.
ACTION ON SMOKING AND HEALTH (Ash) chief executive ANN JONES says, "Her
public smoking does reinforce the wrong message, that smoking and glamour and
success go together for young women.
"I would hope that, with this latest award, she's conscious of how her
smoking does affect young people. She's in a very unique position now to
contribute to improving the health of women, not only Australian women but
Kidman hit the headlines in May 2003 when she smoked throughout a press
conference at the Cannes Film Festival.
Jones adds, "There's a great opportunity for Nicole to improve the health
of Australian women by actually not smoking in such a public way."
CANCER COUNCIL AUSTRALIA's anti-tobacco chair, ANDREW ELLERMAN, laments,
"Nicole quite clearly and publicly flaunted her smoking when it was quite
unnecessary at those press conferences.
"At the very least, you'd have to say that it'd be much more responsible
for her to not smoke in public, if not to make a decision to quit."