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NICOLE LIGHTS UP, SPARKS CONTROVERSY
Nicole Kidman's televised cigarette puffing at the Cannes Film Festival has antismokers in Sydney fuming.
Critics said the sight of the Oscar-winning Australian thespian lighting up in front of the world's media this week while promoting her new film, "Dogville," was free advertising for the tobacco industry.
``Mass media coverage of celebrity smokers, like Nicole Kidman, is priceless for the tobacco industry in their drive to addict new smokers, most of whom are children,'' said Anne Jones, of the Action on Smoking and Health group in Australia.
At a media briefing, Kidman bummed a cigarette off her costar, Stellan Skarsgard, only to be admonished by director Lars von Trier in front of the world's press. ``Oh, Nicole, don't do that _ you promised,'' von Trier said. Kidman coolly kept puffing.
Wendy Day, Kidman's Australian publicist, said she hadn't spoken to the actress since the news conference.