A drugs charity has accused magazine NME of behaving irresponsibly by naming singer Pete Doherty, who has battled drug addiction, its Cool Icon of 2004.
Doherty left The Libertines following high-profile drug problems
The NME says Doherty, who sang in rock band The Libertines, and ex-bandmate Carl Barat embody "the notion of cool".
Drugs charity Addaction feared this would influence readers, saying: "Young people are vulnerable to hard drugs."
But the magazine's assistant editor Malik Meer said it was Doherty's talent which earned him the title.
The Libertines topped the UK chart in September with their second, self-titled, album on which Doherty played.
On the week of its release Doherty received a suspended four month jail sentence after admitting possession of a flick knife.
In 2003 he served two months in jail after being found guilty of burglary at ex-bandmate Carl Barat's home. Doherty now has his own band, Babyshambles.
Addaction said the consumption of crack cocaine and heroin is rising among young people, fuelled by cheap street prices.
"The record industry does have a responsibility to promote healthy lifestyles," policy manager Rebecca Cheshire told The Times newspaper.
"Not everyone has the ability to fall back on expensive rehabilitation programmes like rock stars."
But the NME's Malik Meer was not convinced that fans of Doherty would be inspired to take drugs.
"It has not been proved that rock stars who take drugs or embark upon antisocial behaviour influence their fans to do the same," he said.
Doherty (right) was jailed for a burglary at Barat's home (left)
"We are rewarding Pete Doherty's creativity and skill, not the fact that he has taken drugs. He writes great music and is a great rock 'n' roll star."
Meer said The Streets' Mike Skinner, ranked in second place in the NME Cool List, is also respected for his music rather than the drug-taking he details in his songs.
"While this list was compiled by staff, we are confident that it reflects the taste of our readers."