Rihanna slammed for smoking in video
It is just the latest in a series of objections to the video which depicts the singer and a boyfriend fighting in a drug-fuelled haze.
At the time of filming, a farmer spoke out against Rihanna’s nudity on set, but on Tuesday local charity Ulster Cancer Foundation criticised her deadly habit.
The Barbados-born singer smokes openly in the video, which was filmed on locations across Northern Ireland including Co Down and Belfast’s New Lodge.
Thousands flocked to catch a glimpse of Rihanna as she was captured on film for the song, which was a collaboration with Scottish DJ Calvin Harris, in the days before she kicked off her latest tour at the Odyssey arena.
The Ulster Cancer Foundation says it is concerned that the singer’s smoking habits could influence young people in Northern Ireland.
“After so much hype around the filming of the video it was very disappointing to see Rihanna so blatantly smoking throughout it,” said UCF Cancer Prevention Officer, Doreen Regan.
“Artists such as Rihanna are held in high esteem and regarded as role models by millions of young people. We are very concerned that young people watching the video will see smoking as glamorous and want to copy her behaviour,” she added.
Research by the UCF has revealed that almost one third of 14 to 16-year-olds have tried smoking, and smoking in television, films and music videos is a key trigger for teens starting to smoke
“Young people who experiment with tobacco can become quickly addicted. The earlier a young person begins to smoke the worse the impact on their health including wheeziness and shortness of breath compared to those who do not smoke, and impaired lung growth and function which may lead to lung cancer in later life.
“Three-quarters of adult smokers start the habit as teenagers, which is why it is so irresponsible of Rihanna to influence her young fan base in this way,” added Ms Regan.
Last week the Rape Crisis Centre said the video was a “disgrace” and “sends the message that [Rihanna] is an object to be possessed by men, which is disturbingly what we see in real violence cases”.
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