Smoking is a habit that has health hazards, and fans are shocked to discover that some of their idols smoked. Whenever news breaks out that certain celebrities smoked and that too, in prohibited areas, it sparks fan controversy. Despite designated smoking areas in karaoke bars, clubs and pubs, some South Korean artistes have drawn significant criticism for a puff or two in non-designated areas. This has ignited widespread debate over personal freedom versus public responsibility. Let’s delve into these incidents and the reactions they have sparked.  BLACKPINK’s Jennie Caught Smoking in Now-Deleted Video, Claim Netizens As They Share Viral Clip on X.

Amid South Korea's stringent smoking regulations, controversy has erupted over actor Ji Chang-wook, BLACKPINK's Jennie, actress Choi Hyun-wook, and other South Korean actors and K-pop stars who were caught smoking indoors and outdoors in separate incidents. These events highlight the ongoing tension between maintaining a wholesome public image and exercising personal freedom for these artistes.

Let’s take a look at the South Korean actors and K-pop singers who have been caught smoking.

South Korean actors and K-pop singers caught smoking

Ji Chang-Wook

Ji Chng-Wook Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

A behind-the-scenes clip from the set of the popular drama Welcome to Samdal-ri has sparked controversy. In 2023, a picture went viral, which showed Ji Chang-wook smoking an e-cigarette indoors during rehearsals. This image gained traction within online communities. Later, the actor apologised. However, netizens continue to criticise, debating the appropriateness of such actions in professional settings.  Ji Chang-wook's Agency Apologises Following Controversy Over Alleged Indoor Smoking Incident on Welcome To Samdal-ri Set.


BLACKPINK's Jennie Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

BLACKPINK's Jennie has found herself at the centre of controversy following the circulation of a video allegedly showing her smoking indoors while overseas. The footage, initially part of Jennie's YouTube vlog posted on July 2, has since been removed. In the video, Jennie is seen receiving makeup and hair touch-ups from staff, during which she appears to take a puff from what seems to be an electronic cigarette. The act has drawn sharp criticism for its perceived disregard for those around her, particularly the staff attending to her grooming needs. BLACKPINK’s Jennie’s Agency OA Entertainment Release Statement for Her Indoor Vaping Incident; Issue Apology to Fans Who Felt ‘Uncomfortable’.

BTS V Aka Kim Taehyung

BTS V Aka Kim Taehyung Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

BTS enjoys a massive global fan base and frequently makes headlines. One viral image divided netizens. The images show band member Kim Taehyung, known as V, smoking outside the Grammys Awards 2022 venue. Wearing a purple shirt and brown pants, V was captured smoking with an attendant. The images provoked various reactions from netizens, with some surprised by his smoking and others viewing it as a non-issue. Pics of BTS' V aka Kim Taehyung SMOKING at Grammys 2022 Goes Viral, ARMY Baffled, Internet Divided!.


Meenoi Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

Singer and songwriter Meenoi inadvertently revealed an ashtray filled with cigarette butts during a live broadcast, surprising viewers. Meenoi addressed the situation candidly, expressing embarrassment and saying, "I don't know what to do. If you love me who is actually like this, I’m embarrassed and thankful". This unexpected glimpse into her personal space drew attention, sparking discussions among fans about Meenoi's smoking habits and the authenticity of her public persona.

Choi Hyun-wook

Choi Hyun-wook Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

An online video captured actor Choi Hyun-wook in Seoul's Apgujeong Rodeo area. The footage showed him holding hands with a woman while smoking a cigarette and then casually discarding the butt onto the road near parked cars, sparking widespread criticism. In response, Choi apologised through his agency Gold Medalist, releasing a handwritten letter expressing remorse for his actions.

Sehun and Tao (EXO)

Sehun and Tao (EXO) Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

Although many fans believe that all members of EXO smoke, only four members have been caught with cigarettes, Sehun and Tao were the first seen casually smoking in what appeared to be a lounge. Netizens debated the veracity of these claims, but neither EXO’s agency nor the members themselves have openly addressed the matter.

NCT’s Haechan

​NCT’s Haechan (Photo Credits: X)

NCT 127 member Haechan found himself in hot water when he was spotted using e-cigarettes indoors during a choreography practice video. This incident prompted a swift response from SM Entertainment, the group's agency, which stated its intention to cover any fines incurred. In their statement, they expressed regret, saying, "We deeply apologise for causing concern to many people due to careless actions. We will pay special attention to prevent this from happening in the future". Fans remain divided, some expressing disappointment and others arguing for leniency towards the young star.

BTS' Jungkook 

Jungkook Smoking (Photo Credits: X)

Jungkook, the youngest member of BTS, travelled to the US, and a video emerged showing him smoking outside a restaurant in Los Angeles. In the brief clip, Jungkook was seen laughing, talking, and doing some steps with another person. He caught the attention of the person recording the video and was dressed in a black T-shirt, matching pants, and sneakers.

Such incidents involving celebrities smoking indoors have ignited debates on personal freedom versus public responsibility. While some fans call for leniency, others criticise the disregard for regulations. These events reflect the ongoing tension between maintaining public image and personal choices in the world of South Korean entertainment.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jul 10, 2024 04:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website