Smith's publicist said in a prepared statement that the famous black, white and red sign model was sorry for any disappointment he has caused, saying that people are right to feel a sense of betrayal from someone they have long viewed as a symbol and role model for healthy life choices.
Rumors have swirled around the star for a while however, with many sources saying that having to constantly look at a cigarette lead to irrepressible cravings and he had felt it increasingly difficult to resist. As one source said, "It was only a matter of when, not if (this would happen)".
How the star managed to get hold of a cigarette is currently not known, nor why Joe chose to ignore the obvious 'No Smoking' warning if he was staring at it for so long, but a spokesperson for the transport authority said they are looking into this breach of protocol, saying interactions between safety warnings are stringent.
"We clearly, clearly, state in all our legal documents that smoking has penalties, and it's unfortunate that our former representative did not heed the warning. We had no choice but to terminate his contract."
Health organisations have been critical of the speed at which the agency and transport authority acted, with reports stating that signs with the disgraced actor still appearing on a number of platforms. "We understand that something like this can catch people unaware, however we are surprised and disappointed that procedures weren't enacted sooner. Thousands of children may have been exposed to this blatant disregard of the rules - and by someone who they have all grown up with to trust".
As a way to hopefully make something positive come out of this controversy, the hashtag #nosmokingnoexit has been set up to highlight the dangers of smoking. It is unsure if Joe Smith will donate his time towards the new campaign.
To further complicate matters, Smith's former agency has hinted it may look at legal action against both the former star and the transport authority for broken contract and loss of revenue from bad publicity. While no affirmative statement has been made, either by them or their lawyers, others have noted that these events are similar to those that led to the transport agency facing legal action when sexual harassment allegations were made against a green pedestrian man inappropriately flashing a passer-by.