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Princess Margaret can't kick smoking habit

LONDON -- Britain's popular press Wednesday admonished Princess Margaret, the sister of Queen Elizabeth II, for taking up smoking again just three months after a lung operation.

'Dicing with death,' headlined the Daily Mirror with the sub-title: 'Princess is back on 30 cigarettes a day.'

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'Puff-away Margaret defies docs,' the Sun splashed. 'Puff-puff princess,' screamed the Daily Express. 'She's lit up again,' reported the Daily Star.

All the country's tabloid newspapers, as well as the usually staid Daily Telegraph, ran identical large front-page pictures of the 54-year-old princess smoking an unfiltered cigarette through a tortoise-shell holder.

The picture marked the first time the princess has smoked in public since a January operation to remove a benign tumor from her lung. It was taken at a television award reception in London.

Doctors reportedly advised Margaret to give up smoking after the tumor was found in her lung. The princess has been smoking since her teens and is reportedly back to 30 king-size Dunhills a day.

'She is trying very hard to give up,' the Daily Express quoted one of her advisers as saying. 'She is not in any way foolhardy. But we all know how difficult it is.'

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The Daily Star said the queen and Prince Charles have both begged the princess to give up smoking.

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