Vivek Oberoi booked for smoking in public place

Ironically Bollywood actor Vivek Oberoi, who is also the face of the anti-smoking initiative by the World Health Organisation (WHO), was booked for smoking in public places in 2012. Recently, Vivek launched the ‘Tobacco-Free Mumbai Police’ campaign with Raveena Tandon to spread awareness about the ill-effect of smoking tobacco among the policemen.

Vivek Oberoi, who himself was booked in 2012 for smoking a hookah in a public place in 2012 kicked off the campaign yesterday. Vivek and Ranveer pledged the policemen to quit tobacco basically after 20 policemen died of cancer last year. Chewing tobacco is a habit seen in most of the cops which eventually takes their life. The drive seeks to motivate policemen to get rid of the habit by ranking police stations as ‘Tobacco-free police stations’  

Kicking tobacco is an initiative supported by the Cancer Patients Aid Association (CPAA) which was launched by the ‘Krrish 2’ actor along with actress Raveena Tandon. The actors inaugurated the campaign yesterday.

Oberoi, the brand ambassador of the anti-smoking initiative by the World Health Organisation (WHO), was caught smoking a shisha in March 2012, at Mabrook, a restaurant in Sahara Star, the five-star hotel at Vile Parle. Shisha is a blend of molasses, fruits, and tobacco. During a raid carried by Assistant Commissioner of Police Vasant Dhoble, actor was caught smoking hookah and was booked under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.

Dhoble told mid-day, “The actor then wanted to escape and told me that if he was caught, it could spoil his image. But I told him that if he tried to escape, he would have to be stopped forcefully. After which, Oberoi sat with the other patrons and was booked for smoking in a public place. I later handed him over to the Airport police station.”

However, the actor denied the incident, “I have been working as the brand ambassador of WHO’s anti-smoking movement for the last thirteen years. I have rejected the Red and White Bravery Award that I was offered for my work in helping the victims of the (2004) tsunami, since it is by a cigarette-making company. I’ve rejected several commercials of pan masala brands as they have tobacco in it.

I don’t smoke or drink. I was just sitting with my guests at the restaurant when Dhoble rounded us up for no reason. They (police) started asking our names and addresses. He was doing it all for publicity. I showed him the bill, which had neither hookah nor liquor,” the actor told this paper.