After being caught by an anti-tobacco researcher for smoking in a college campus in Goa, Bollywood actor Arshad Warsi has vowed not to smoke while making a public appearance. In a letter to National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication (NOTE) general secretary Shekhar Salkar dated May 10, Arshad has expressed regret about the incident earlier this month and has admitted that “fans follow their on-screen idols and copy their actions. From now, I will ensure that I throw away the cigarette before I make a public appearance,” Arshad has said in his letter to NOTE.
Explaining the course of events earlier this month, which eventually ended up with him being photographed along with actor Tusshar Kapoor, smoking in public, Arshad said that he was in his vanity van, when fans stopped by to meet him.
“I was smoking in my vanity van parked far away from the college building, when a group of youngsters knocked on the door. As usual I go out of my way to satisfy my fans and I came out to sign the autographs, involuntarily holding the cigarette in my hand,” said the actor, who played the memorable role of Circuit in the “Munnabhai” series.
“We are delighted to know that somewhere deep in Circuit’s heart, traces of good old Munnabhai still live on,” said Salkar, whose organisation has in the past dragged Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to court for directly or indirectly promoting smoking.
“We at NOTE appreciate that you have accepted it was wrong on your part to interact with your fans with a cigarette in your hand. It was nice to learn through your explanation that it was just a subconscious act,” said Salkar.