Whoopi Goldberg is making sure her role as a chain-smoking hotel boss in a new American sitcom doesn't upset New York mayor MIKE BLOOMBERG - by creating her very own cigarette tax.

The actress, who smokes in real life, will fine herself and pay a cheque to New York City everytime her character in WHOOPI puffs away.

The announcement, made during a visit by Bloomberg to the New York set of the show, has delighted the Mayor because smoking is now banned in New York bars and restaurants.

Goldberg says, "Because this is a building in the state of New York, there is a fine that is levied every time someone smokes.

"So, when we're shooting and we find that within the scene someone has to smoke, I will be writing a cheque to the City of New York for that right."

08/08/2003 17:18