Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen never knew that a cigarette could turn her from a famous beauty queen into Vietnam's public enemy number one. At least on the Internet.
Many people have taken to social media demanding the Miss Vietnam 2014 give up her crown title after she was caught on camera smoking inside a coffee shop.
No children, pregnant women or smoking ban signs can be seen in the video, so it is not easy for the public to judge her act. But many have done it anyway, using harsh and at times vulgar language to criticize her.
Duyen, 20, has published a humble apology on her Facebook page, saying that she should have been more careful and responsible, and “not to please myself with a socially controversial act.”
While many people have expressed sympathy saying that the act is normal and does not justify a heated debate, and felt sorry for her lack of privacy, many people said the act is disrespectful to the public and her being sorry is not enough.
"You should be embarrassed and return the crown. Then you will be free to express yourself and no one will judge,” one of the comments on social media read.
A file photo shows Nguyen Cao Ky Duyen (C), an 18-year-old college freshman, was crowned Miss Vietnam in December 2014. Photo: Doc Lap/Thanh Nien
Organizers of Miss Vietnam, claimed to be the most prestigious beauty contest in the country, have also criticized Duyen's behavior, saying it is not worthy of her image as a role model for young women.
Vietnam has one of the biggest smoking populations in the world, with nearly half of the male population aged 15 or more, or more than 15 million people, engaging in the habit. The number of female smokers is thought to be significantly smaller.
Diseases related to smoking kill 100 people in the country every day.
Vietnam strictly prohibits advertisements of tobacco products. But that never stops big tobacco companies from targeting young people with deceptive images of hip and healthy smokers.