"Kakaiba at astig" was how majority of the PEPsters described the smoking photo of Nora Aunor in the October issue of YES! magazine.
In the site's poll, 56.04% gave their thumbs up, as compared to the 36.63% who said, "Hindi masyado."
Beyond cyberspace, however, the photo had sparked a debate.
Fr. Robert Reyes, a volunteer of PMA (Philippine Medical Association) that supports Smoke-Free Philippines, argued: "The Filipino reading public is not dumb... If you want to be popular again, be wholesome.
"Gusto n'yo ba gayahin ka namin? Ang trabaho n'yo is to inspire us, not to scandalize us."
In response, YES! editor in chief Jo-Ann Maglipon said, "This new openness is her chosen expression of who she is today, and that is the reason I chose that photograph. It captures her.
"In a perfect world, we will not have anyone smoking or drinking or gambling or lying. Not just in magazines, but out there in the real world...
"But apart from being in an imperfect world, there is the very real concern with freedom of expression, which not even the most well-meaning advocates should trample on."
THE PULSE. Smoking could not be induced by a mere magazine cover.
Despite the government's firm and strict advertising guidelines for tobacco companies, the statistics on Pinoy smokers have not dminished at all.
Yes, star power should never be undermined.
But if the public would make a fuss over every "smoking" shot or scene, then, the more it would underscore the use of cigarettes.
The stick was initially a symbol. Now, it's an issue.
To smoke or not to smoke?
It's a choice of every individual, and not a decision influenced by a "smoking" photo.