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 By PA Sport

Mourinho: Smoking sets bad example

Premier League footballers have a moral responsibility to set an example to youngsters by not smoking, according to Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Jack Wilshere returns to training early

England midfielder Jack Wilshere has found himself again under scrutiny after photos were posted online of the 22-year-old appearing to smoke while on holiday in Las Vegas.

In October last year, Wilshere issued an apology after being photographed smoking outside a London nightclub.

Mourinho, speaking at a BT Sport event in central London on Friday night, feels it is not so much an issue of the physical impact as to what message it sends out to millions of impressionable youngsters.

"What football players do, millions and millions are watching, lots of kids are watching," Mourinho said.

"I am not a specialist obviously, but I don't think if a football player smokes one cigar or cigarette with friends in the summer when he is not training - I don't think it affects his performance.

"What gets affected is that a kid at home says 'if a top football player can smoke, then I can smoke' and it is not a problem.

"It is more a social consequence than a physical consequence."

The Chelsea boss added: "Being angry is not a solution, but I would just explain exactly that, that everything they do or wear is part of the kids' life.

"If they smoke, maybe the kids think they do it a lot of times and they will probably do the same."

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