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SLASH HITS BACK AT SMOKING BAN:

June 10, 2007

FORMER Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Slash has hit back at the prospect of a paltry £50 fine for breaking Wales’s smoking ban.

The former hell-raiser was last night facing being one of the first in Wales to be prosecuted for breaking the ban – which came into effect a month ago – after lighting up at a Cardiff International Arena gig.

But it seems Slash isn’t in the least worried about the prospect of a fine, after telling Wales on Sunday: “I won’t let any smoking ban bother me!”

The infamous star – famed for playing his guitar with a ciggie dangling from his mouth – and his Velvet Revolver band mates were seen puffing away on stage during their only Welsh date in the capital last Thursday.

But when told of the law which declares that all enclosed public places in Wales are smoke-free zones in an interview with Wales on Sunday a week prior to the show, the Los Angeles wildman explained that it ‘didn’t worry him’.

But the incident has now sparked an investigation by Cardiff City Council into whether any law has in fact been broken.

And if it does, then it could make 41-year-old Stoke-on-Trent born Slash – real name Saul Hudson – the first to be prosecuted for breaching the ban since it came into place on April 2.

And it could land each member of the hard rocking US five-piece a £50 fine.

Moreover, if proven, the venue itself could face an even heftier fine of up to £2,500 for not making them put out their cigarettes, while fans in the crowd who wanted to smoke had to go outside.

A Cardiff Council spokeswoman said: “The no-smoking ban seems to be operating well in Cardiff.

“So we are disappointed to hear that there may have been an incident of someone smoking on the stage at the CIA.

“We have yet to receive any formal complaints.

“But we will be investigating the matter and arranging to meet with the management of the CIA urgently to explain that this kind of behaviour is not acceptable as well as seeking assurances that this will not happen again.”

A fan of Velvet Revolver, who travelled from Aberdare to see the show, said: “I’m amazed no one expected this to happen.

“Slash without a fag in his mouth would be like the late Oliver Reed walking past an open pub door.”

Courtesy of icwales.icnetwork.co.uk

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