Bollywood star Akshay Kumar early on Thursday announced that he would no longer be the brand ambassador of Vimal Elaichi, an Indian tobacco brand that he had signed an endorsement deal with recently.

The 54-year-old star took to Instagram to announce the end of his advertising contract with the brand.

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“I am sorry. I would like to apologise to you, all my fans and well-wishers. Your reaction over the past few days has deeply affected me,” the Bollywood actor wrote on Instagram in a statement posted shortly after midnight.

“While I have not and will not endorse tobacco, I respect the outpouring of your feelings in light of my association with Vimal Elaichi. With all humility, I step back. I have decided to contribute the entire endorsement fee towards a worthy cause,” Kumar further wrote, announcing his plans for the endorsement fee he collected.

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“The brand might continue airing the ads till the legal duration of the contract that is binding upon me, but I promise to be extremely mindful in making my future choices. In return I shall forever continue to ask for your love and wishes,” the 54-year-old concluded.

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The announcement came after a massive online backlash against the Bollywood veteran over his deal with the tobacco brand.

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The 54-year-old, along with Shah Rukh Khan and Ajay Devgn, can be seen in recent Vimal Elaichi ads, striking the Vimal salute and chewing the elaichi (cardamom) marketed by the brand.

However, the ads sparked a massive backlash from fans, who reminded Kumar of his long-time stand and previous comments against alcohol, tobacco, and similar substances.