The New York City Department of Health is fired up over the many celebrities who lit up at the Met Gala earlier this month, which violated the city’s Smoke-Free Air Act.
“This spectacular event awes us all,” said Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett in a letter to the museum’s senior vice president. “We were dismayed to read reports that some celebrities chose smoking as their fashion accessory and flagrantly violated New York City’s smoking laws.”
Bassett, a former smoker herself, went on to indirectly scold the infracting stars. “You admire and emulate the designers, models, actors and other celebrities who attend the Met Gala,” she wrote. “We thus are concerned about how images of these celebrities smoking — which were widely shared around the world via social media — will affect youth smoking rates.”
While neither the Met nor its famous guests will be penalized this year, the Department of Health offered “inspectors” or “other assistance to improve compliance” for next year’s gala. The museum responded to the letter with a statement Friday acknowledging the violation “by a small number of guests,” and said it will “take steps to ensure this does not happen again.”