Smoking has always been affiliated with the movies. Everybody thinks of iconic imagery of Humphrey Bogart or other classic Hollywood stars with cigarettes dangling from their mouths, and in many ways this has helped to perpetuate the tobacco industry ever since cigarettes first appeared over a century ago.
However, these days, the health problems related to cigarette use are quite transparent, and most studios don’t want to be associated with cigarettes. Although many actors still smoke them as part of roles that they play, you won’t find celebrities outright endorsing tobacco products. All of this, however, seems to be changing with the advent of smokeless tobacco products like e-cigarettes, with brand-new celebrity endorsements to get behind this much healthier alternative.
Recently, there’s been an amazing influx of celebrity sponsorship of e-cigarettes. One of the most noticeable is Charlie Sheen, who jumped on the bandwagon early and actually released his own brand called NicoSheen, capitalizing on his viral tirades in the media with the slogan “The Winning Cigarette”. In addition to Sheen, another celebrity investor in e-cigarettes is Bruno Mars, who signed a contract to support a company called NJOY, and the reason? because he says e-cigs helped him kick the usage of regular cigarettes.
Aside from direct sponsorships, a lot of celebrities have been quietly endorsing “vaping”, among them Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears. Lohan has implied that during her rehab stint, e-cigarettes helped her get off the smoke and into healthier vapor products, and there’s a lot of pictures of Lohan using e-cigarettes at her California villa.
As for Britney Spears, some gossip mags have suggested that Britney took the switch after she was criticized for smoking regular tobacco products in proximity of her children. Ever after these criticisms broke out, photos of Britney smoking have exclusively been with e-cigarettes.
Yet another celebrity to allegedly switch to e-cigarettes to help kick the regular ones is Leonardo DiCaprio. Gossip mags have caught the A-list actor vaping while on the bicycle, in nightclubs, and on film-sets. Since everybody knew Leo used to be a smoker, it raises the question if he made the switch, as with millions of others, as a way to kick the old habit and transition into a scientifically healthier alternative.
Most celebrities would find promoting regular cigarettes to be a PR nightmare, not to mention bans are in effect that prevents tobacco ads on TV. With e-cigarettes, it’s opened opportunities for “vaping” to become the mainstream alternative that famous faces feel comfortable to be photographed doing. For instance, Cathy McCarthy, a known “pretty face” in Hollywood has also signed an e-cigarette sponsorship deal where she appears in UK commercials vaping for the camera. Because electronic cigarettes don’t produce carbon monoxide and other toxic substances, e-cigarette ads featuring celebrity spokespeople are allowed on camera.
E-cigarettes may have resurrected a glamorous Hollywood era, with starlets endorsing tobacco for the first time in decades. In addition, there is now plenty of brand-new opportunities for celebrities to either create their own e-cigarette companies or to sign expensive contract deals to promote existing companies. Given the popularity of “vaping”, it seems we can expect to see a lot more celebrities putting their faces behind this new, healthier alternative to tobacco use.