Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who will be seen lighting up in her forthcoming release "Guzaarish", has set the anti-tobacco lobby aflame with anger.
"The display of the posters showing Aishwarya smoking raises worries in our mind that they could be trand-setters," said a statement released Tuesday by Dr. Shekhar Salkar, general secretary of the National Organization for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE).
He said the group has written to the actress as well, and asked her to withdraw posters of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s latest film "Guzarish", showing the Bachchan bahu smoking a cigarette.
Salkar said many film stars, who confess about their aversion to smoking in private, routinely smoke on screen, taking refuge in phrases like ‘freedom of expression’.
"There are innumerable posters of “Guzaarish” all over Mumbai. There would be many other scenes which could convey the storyline of the film, yet the producer has chosen this particular one, quite oblivious to its after-effects," Salkar said.
NOTE has in the past dragged Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to court over promoting tobacco.
The group had also complained against Ajay Devagan, who was photographed smoking while shooting in Goa for "Golmaal 3". The star was fined Rs.100 for his indiscretion.