There’s dim – and there’s very dim. And then there is dangerously stupid. I know little about Sienna Miller but it does seem that she won’t be challenging us too much to understand the complex philosophy of her life. Shallow as piss on concrete is the phrase that springs somewhat inelegantly to mind. But she’s a celeb who at 26 seems to have lived a lot, but sadly learned very little – if the grotesque quote about smoking really did come from her pretty lips as The Observer reports. The remark the inane Ms Miller shared with us when asked about cigarettes was: “Love them. I think that the more positive approach you have to smoking, the less harmful it is” she said.

Now I suppose which should allow the bimbo factor to come in here and discount Ms Miller as just an empty-headed lightweight unworthy of being taken seriously. The trouble is that as a young woman in the prime of her life she will be a role model to contemporaries who aspire to be like her. And of all the groups most at risk from smoking it is teen and twenties women who are one of the most vulnerable. First, and shamefully, they are undoubtedly targeted by the big tobacco companies who want their brands to be fashion props. The pack of Marlboro is as much of a fashion “must have” as the Gucci bag or the Jimmy Choo shoes when you parade down Knightsbridge or Fifth Avenue. Secondly the acquisition of the smoking habit is seen by these young women as not just being brand cool but in their interest in their ambition to stay thin – although a recent report from the University of Memphis has shown this to be a myth.  Finally there is the live now and don’t worry about the future mentality all too prevalent amongst some of the celeb icons – from Britney to Paris… and to Sienna.

Perhaps I’m taking it all too seriously. But, you see, I’ve endured the pain of seeing someone I love die prematurely retching and blowing as the tobacco induced cancer destroyed her lungs and consumed her. And it wasn’t a pretty sight. So to Sienna I say if you are, as I read that you are, active in cancer and childrens’ charities how about  seeing if you can make a big effort to quit – and if this continues to be beyond you then please realise that to suggest that you can reduce the harm of smoking by being more “positive” is one inane soundbite too far.
 

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