The band soared into the record books last week when their album became the UK's biggest selling debut ever. Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not sold 363,735 copies in its first week of release.

The album cover shows a friend of the band smoking and has been deemed irresponsible by Scotland's leading specialist on public health. Dr Laurence Gruer, director of public health science at NHS Health Scotland, told The Herald newspaper that using the pictures sent out the wrong message.

Dr Gruer made clear his comments on the band were his personal opinion.

He said: "Although the band is from Sheffield, thousands of youngsters in Scotland will buy it because it is good music. It is the fastest-selling album in British history but it gives out the wrong image. With a blatant image of a guy smoking, it will be seen by many as a cool thing to do. It reinforces the idea that smoking is OK and even something you might want to emulate."

Johnny Bradshaw, the product manager for the band at their label, Domino Recording, refuted the claims that the photos made smoking seem appealing.

He said: "I personally think the image is not portraying smoking in a positive light. If anything, it is doing the opposite. The picture is a real photo and a real image. You can see from it that smoking is not doing him the world of good."

A ban on smoking in public places comes into effect in Scotland on 26 March.

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