In the 80's and 90's Rajinikanth used to get thundering applause for the way he used to light up on screen. It became a style statement for the youth of the 80's . Today Rajinikanth himself while speaking to his fans has regretted that he smoked on screen.
Rajinikanth at his fan meet said : " I had a drinking problem from my early days when I was a bus conductor. I was also a chain smoker which resulted in my recent health problems. Actually my smoking is the root cause of my present health problems as it affected my lungs and kidney. Once I stopped alcohol and smoking , my health improved. "
Rajinikanth pleaded with his fans to stop smoking. A emotionally charged Rajinikanth said : " I plead with you to quit smoking, it is addictive and will ruin your health. From Sivaji itself I stopped smoking on screen. Smoking is really injurious to your health, stop it immediately."
The fans of the superstar is now promoting the campaign "to stop smoking". As a part of the campaign Rajinikanth fans in many parts of Tamil Nadu made a bonfire of cigarettes.