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Sean Penn's cigarette smoking irks Canucks

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by poindexter, Sep 14, 2006.

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  1. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member


    Penn's Lighting-Up Ignites Canada's Health Officials
    Anti-Smoking Advocates Are Fired Up Over the Actors Gaffe of Smoking Indoors at the Toronto Film Festival

    Sept. 13, 2006— - TORONTO (CP) - Hollywood bad boy Sean Penn should be charged with violating the province's smoking ban after he puffed his way through a news conference promoting his latest movie at the Toronto International Film Festival, Ontario Health Promotion Minister Jim Watson said Wednesday.

    Photos of Penn enjoying a cigarette during the news conference have been splashed across local and national newspapers since the actor arrived in Toronto last week for the annual festival.

    "No one is above the law, whether it's Sean Penn or someone at the local tavern," Watson said.

    "Sean Penn's a great actor, but quite frankly . . .if he was smoking and in breach of the law, he could be charged, and he should be charged."

    Watson also said public health inspectors could be doing a better job of enforcing the controversial ban at film festival venues, where Penn and other stars have often been seen with cigarettes in hand.

    "If we know that there are continuous annual re-occurrences of problems like that, perhaps the Toronto Public Health Unit should be more proactive," he said.

    "I certainly would hope that the Toronto International Film Festival would remind (movie stars), in a not-so-subtle fashion, that guests coming here shouldn't simply go out and (thumb) their nose at our laws."

    Dr. Sheela Basrur, Ontario's chief medical officer of health, said it was would be up to organizers of events like the film festival and the managers of the host hotels to ensure their guests were aware of the smoking ban, and to make sure it was followed.

    "Before we go out talking about enforcement officers and whose uniform is going to be on the scene, we need to first ensure that the managers of these events and facilities comply with their obligations under the law," Basrur said.

    "(Penn's smoking) has certainly been an item of significant attention . . . and I expect Toronto Public Health to follow provincial protocols in investigating."

    At one point during the news conference, which was convened to mark the first 100 days of the province's comprehensive new anti-smoking law, Watson asked Basrur if inspectors would be going after Penn.

    "As the former (Toronto) medical officer of health, are you going to issue a ticket to Sean Penn?" asked Watson.

    "Hopefully, I wouldn't have to," laughed Basrur.

    Charges can't be laid until the health unit receives an official complaint about Penn's decision to smoke at the Sutton Place hotel, which hasn't yet happened.

    Toronto city Coun. Joe Mihevc, a member of the city's board of health, said Wednesday an investigation was underway and that either Penn or the hotel could be charged.

    "Super-stardom does not mean that you can side-step any laws or bylaws, and I think that's an important message to get out," Mihevc said. About 300 people have been charged since Ontario's provincewide smoking ban went into effect in May. They were all assessed fines of $105, Watson said.

    Organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival did not immediately return calls Wednesday.

    Penn isn't the only high-profile entertainer to find himself in hot water for violating smoking laws.

    City council in Glasgow, Scotland decided recently not to prosecute Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards for smoking on stage during an August concert at Hampden Park national stadium.

    Richards could have faced a fine of about $150, but environmental officers said the stage used by the Stones did not qualify as an enclosed public place as defined by the city's smoking ban.
  2. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    another rich dilema created for our canadian liberal friends
  3. Huggy

    Huggy Well-Known Member

    I saw a bit of that presser on our local cable station, which covers the festival. It wasn't the smoking that I noticed but the fact that he sounded hammered or stoned. I couldn't believe Jeff Spicoli was in town!
  4. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    It's Bush's fault that he can't stop smoking, of course:

    Penn said Bush and the war in Iraq have made it hard for him to give up his addiction to cigarettes. "It makes it very difficult to quit smoking under this administration," he said.

  5. JR

    JR Active Member

    Hardly a dilemna. Smoking in public places is prohibited. Simple, whether you're Sean Penn or Joe the Janitor.
  6. Bullshit!
    Sean Penn is above the Law.
  7. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    He smoked the stoge, he should pay the fine.
  8. JR

    JR Active Member

    And Canada responds with Starman Justice Lite:


    David McKeown, Toronto's chief medical officer of health, told thestar.com late today that the Oscar-winning actor, who lit up a cigarette at the Sutton Place Hotel last Sunday during a news conference, will escape with a warning.

    However, McKeown said the Sutton Place Hotel will be issued tickets totalling $605 for breaking the tough new Smoke-Free Ontario Act, which bans smoking in enclosed places in the province.

    McKeown found after an investigation that the hotel broke the act in two ways:

    The hotel officials did not provide proper signage warning people of the new provincial act and they did not give Penn notice that smoking is not permitted in enclosed public places.

    Not providing proper signage will cost the hotel a fine of $240 and not advising Penn of the new law has resulted in a $365 fine - if the hotel chooses not the fight the charges.
  9. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Gotta love Canadian justice! How does this work, JR, does everyone within a five block radius of the hotel chip in and collectively pay the fine? ;D
  10. BigDog

    BigDog Active Member

    Tee hee. Well done, as always, Looneys.
  11. ballscribe

    ballscribe Active Member

    Don't lump Torontonians in with the rest of us.

    He lights up in Montreal, 15 guys and gals in the same area say "Oui!", light right up next to him, and say "Go ahead, arrest all of us, you scum-sucking peeg!" ;)
  12. JR

    JR Active Member

    I'm not.
    But it's Toronto. You know, the Centre of our Universe. :)
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