Bono on the back foot over a puff of smoke

Time was when pop stars were expected to ingest large amounts of dubious substances as part of their lifestyle in the world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

Time was when pop stars were expected to ingest large amounts of dubious substances as part of their lifestyle in the world of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

But U2's lead singer Bono, one of Ireland's biggest stars, has penitently apologised for smoking a single cigarette, and that in a hotel owned by his band.

He said he momentarily forgot about the Irish smoking ban.

The news of his tobacco transgression has raised many smiles in Ireland, where the ban has been almost universally hailed as a major success since it was brought in months ago.

Bono's apology is seen as demonstrating the new reality that smoking in pubs, hotels and restaurants is a thing of the past, with the Irish responding almost instantly to the argument that smoking in workplaces is wrong.

The illicit cigarette was lit up by the singer, whose real name is Paul Hewson, late at night in his band's elegant hotel, the Clarence, in the centre of Dublin. He was in the company of a Californian band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

He said: "It was the wee small hours. I was in the company of people from out of town who didn't know about the ban and for a moment nor did I. I was quickly reminded by the staff and a few friends. I apologised then and I apologise now."

The authorities report that 97 per cent of the premises visited by anti-smoking inspectors in the first month of the ban were found to be complying with the regulation.

The early signs are that pubs and restaurants have not, as some of them feared, lost significant business because of the ban. Around one-quarter of the population of the Irish Republic are said to be smokers. Many used the introduction of the ban as a spur to help them give up smoking. Little huddles of smokers have now become a familiar sight in the doorways of Irish bars as customers nip outside for a cigarette.

This is not the first time that Bono has landed in trouble over cigarettes. Years ago he had a nose, throat and ear operation to clear blocked sinuses, doctors reportedly warning him that smoking could worsen the condition.

His fans believe that smoking alters the Bono voice. He said: "It's dumb to smoke, and it really changed my voice, and I lost the high register, and I lost the ability to fly as a singer. I had a lot of complications with my voice anyway. The doctor told me I couldn't smoke."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power