Robbie Williams smokes cigarettes on stage in Australia

British pop star Robbie Williams has scoffed at official warnings not to smoke cigarettes onstage in Australia. Robbie's celebrity status will help him escape paying 150 Australian dollars (US$117; EUR 89) in fines.

The leader of Australia's Queensland state - where Williams lit up onstage at a nonsmoking venue on two consecutive nights - offered to pay the fines, saying the entertainer was a guest of the state.

Health groups criticized Williams in the media the day after he smoked Wednesday at the opening concert of his Australian tour.

He fired up again the next night, telling the crowd of more than 50,000 at Suncorp Stadium in Queensland's capital, Brisbane, that he'd heard about the controversy and promised not to smoke again - as he puffed on a cigarette.

After giving up drugs and alcohol, smoking was his only vice, Williams said.

Stadium spokesman Greg Adermann said Williams had been reminded after the first concert that smoking was banned at the venue, the AP says.

Queensland state Premier Peter Beattie said that Williams was liable for fines totalling A$150 (US$117; EUR 89), but that he would pay.

"He used it as part of his act and he is going to be treated like anybody else, but because of the circumstances, I am going to pay it," Beattie said.

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