The Rolling Stones avoid smoking fine

Band avoid new law despite two members light up on stage

The Rolling Stones avoided a smoking fine last night (August 21) when they played London’s O2 Arena – even though two of them lit up during the gig.

Both Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood had cigarettes while the rock veterans performed. But Greenwich Council said is was satisfied the incident was a one-off.

The maximum fine for a venue that allows people to break the band, which came into force on July 1, is £2,500.

A spokeswoman for the O2 said: “A band member appeared to have a cigarette, however it was extinguished almost faster than the message to put it out got to stage.

“We are sure it was an oversight and are grateful for their co- operation. Along with the rest of the county, we take the smoking ban seriously.”

A spokesman for Greenwich Council said: “We have received no complaints from members of the public. We have reminded the O2 of their obligation to enforce the smoking legislation.”

Richards was in trouble for smoking on stage in Scotland’s Hampden Park last year.

He escaped a fine after Glasgow City Council revealed the venue’s stage was not covered by the Scottish smoking ban, which came into force in March 2006, reports BBC News.