Electronic Cigarettes In Film

film reviews | movies | features | BRWC Electronic Cigarettes In Film

Electronic cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular, with an estimated 1.3 million people using them in the UK, this figure looks set to rise over the next couple of years.

E-Cigarettes are battery operated devices, some of which are designed to look like conventional cigarettes. Like the traditional cigarette, some e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but no tar or tobacco. They work by heating a water-based e-liquid solution through an atomiser device, until it turns into a vapour that can then be inhaled. E-cigarettes produce a vapour mist that resembles cigarette smoke. Electronic cigarettes offer an alternative to smoking; they stimulate the physical act of smoking and still offer a nicotine ‘hit’.

Hollywood actor Johnny Depp is a fan of electronic cigarettes and his character was seen using an electronic cigarette in his film ‘The Tourist’. He is seen using the device on a train, when questioned why he is smoking in public place, which is obviously banned, he explains how electronic cigarettes are exempt from the public smoking ban. This was the first mainstream film to feature electronic cigarettes and it is thought to have been Depp himself who insisted on their use in the film.



A number of high-profile celebrities have been spotted using electronic cigarettes. Katherine Heigl has been using e-cigarettes for years and even used one live on TV when she appeared on the David Letterman show. Leonardo DiCaprio is another Hollywood heavyweight who is a big fan of e-cigarettes. Whilst promoting ‘The Great Gatsby’ he used an e-cigarette during press interviews and is frequently spotted using them whilst out and about.

Electronic cigarettes also seem to be popular in the music industry with names such as Cheryl Cole, Zayn Malik from One Direction and Robbie Williams all spotted using them. Millionaire mogul Simon Cowell has been using them to try and cut down on his cigarette habit, with Amanda Holden telling press he used them throughout filming for Britain’s Got Talent.

With an increasing number of people swapping conventional cigarettes for electronic cigarettes, the power of the celebrity has no doubt played a part in this increased usage.

As the look of electronic cigarettes becomes more realistic compared to traditional cigarettes they could soon be making an appearance in many more films and TV shows to replace cigarettes. The e-liquid used in e-cigarettes is available in a range of flavours and nicotine strengths with many companies offering a nicotine free e-liquid, could this be an alternative for actors who do not smoke in real-life but play a smoking character? Currently menthol cigarettes are usually used, but could e-cigarettes offer a more realistic option for actors?


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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.

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