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Hilary Duff talks to OTRC.com in November 2011. - Provided courtesy of OTRC

Hilary Duff 'pretty bummed' about cigarette photo

06/19/2012 by Corinne Heller

Hilary Duff, a former Disney Channel star who gave birth to her first child in March, says she is "pretty bummed" about a recent paparazzi photo that shows her holding a lit cigarette, adding that it was for a friend.

The picture was taken outside Rock & Reilly's Irish Pub in the West Hollywood area of Los Angeles on Friday and posted on websites of outlets such as the UK newspaper The Daily Mail. Duff's son, Luca, was not with her.

"Yikes me holding a cigarette for my friend might have been a bad idea!" she said on her Twitter page on Monday. "Pretty bummed about the photo.. Sorry guys, looks worst than it is!"

Online responses to the photo have been mixed, while an MTV article titled "Please Don't Smoke, Hilary Duff!" stated: "PLEASE STOP HILARY!! We love you and all, but you just created your amazing, perfect, and adorable family. There's really no need to add cigarettes into the equation."

The 24-year-old actress revealed in April that she was breastfeeding her son, Luca. It is unclear if she is a smoker, but even if she is, her breast milk appears to be safe for her child, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

"Mothers who smoke are encouraged to quit," the government-mandated group states. "However, breast milk remains the ideal food for a baby even if the mother smokes. Although nicotine may be present in breast milk, adverse effects on the infant during breastfeeding have not been reported."

Duff is also facing an unrelated legal problem. A Los Angeles woman filed a lawsuit against her on Monday, claiming that in December 2010, the actress crashed her Range Rover into her vehicle and caused her injuries, E! News reported. Duff has not responded.

Duff who rose to fame as a teen star of the Disney Channel series "Lizzie Maguire" and also had a recurring role in the CW series "Gossip Girl" and guest parts on NBC's shows "Community" and "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The actress is also a best-selling author. Her second novel, "Devoted," was released last October.

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