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E-Smoking With the Stars

A brief history of cigarettes in Hollywood and how e-cigarettes are becoming the new choice of celebrities

In the 2005 hit comedy “Thank You for Smoking,” protagonist Nick Naylor, a Big Tobacco lobbyist (played by Aaron Eckhart), is brainstorming ways to get people to start smoking again when he stumbles upon the answer by watching a classic Hollywood flick featuring two characters playfully bantering while sharing some smokes.

From this revelation, Naylor goes on a mission to bring back product placement in movies and put cigarettes back in the hands of celebrities, saying “The message Hollywood needs to send out is ‘Smoking is cool!'”

While the film's wit and humor make it a good laugh and fun to watch, it also brings up an important topic—the indisputable link between Hollywood and public smoking behavior.

Smoking in Black and White

Hollywood 's love affair with smoking has been going on well before the likes of John Wayne, Bette Davis, and Audrey Hepburn first graced the big screen, cigarette in tow. In fact, actors were seen smoking on camera as early as 1930. In Josef Von Sternberg's “Morocco,” the exotic German actress Marlene Dietrich swaggers across the screen while singing—and smoking of course—making cigarettes seem like part of the glamorous life.

And you can't forget the Marlboro Man. Portrayed as a rugged, devilishly handsome cowboy, the Marlboro Man could be seen all over 1950s TV and advertisements with a cigarette casually tucked between his fingers. Over the years, various celebrities took on the role of this cowboy smoker—Wayne McLaren, David McLean, Dick Hammer—all representing the embodiment of tobacco companies trying to appeal to popular opinion through the stars.

The smoking didn't stop when the director yelled “Cut!” either. Especially back before anti-smoking campaigns, when the dangers of cigarettes were not public knowledge, most movie stars lit up both onscreen and off. Some of the most (in)famous chain smokers, both past and present, include the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Johnny Carson, Charlie Sheen, Betty Grable, Kate Moss, and Patrick Swayze, just to name a few.

Modern Celebs Who Are Switching to E-smoking

With the arrival of e-cigarettes, Hollywood may have a new preference when it comes to smoking. As the first realistic alternative to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have only appeared on the smoking scene in the last decade, and just in the last few years have they attracted the attention of the stars.

Off camera, celebrities like Simon Cowell, Katherine Heigl, Courtney Love, Bradley Cooper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Pattison, and former chain smoker Kate Moss have been spotted with an e-cigarette in hand.

And e-cigarettes are beginning to show up onscreen as well.

For example, Johnny Depp can be seen e-smoking in the film “The Tourist.” In the scene, Depp uses his e-cigarette on a train, and when questioned about why he is smoking in a “no smoking” area, he replies that he isn't smoking at all and that e-cigarettes are exempt from the public smoking ban.

So what?

Some people may be asking: Why should I care about the smoking habits of Hollywood celebrities? The answer, quite simply, is because how the stars chose to smoke has a clear influence on the popularity of smoking all around the world, especially among adolescents.

Years of research has repeatedly shown that exposure to images of people smoking in films and TV shows increases the odds that an adolescent will give smoking a try, whether it is just a few puffs or a pack a day for the rest of their life. Smoking in movies and television is typically portrayed as glamorous, sexy, and independent, and young people struggling with identity often look to their favorite celebrities as role models for social behavior.

As American pop-artist Andy Warhol once said: “It's the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it.”

The Show Must Go On

Smoking has been apart of the movies practically ever since the film reel was invented. Since that time, the motion picture industry has come a long way—first from black and white to color, then manual to digital editing, and finally from special effects to CGI and computer animation. After all these improvements in media technology, it's about time a better smoking option came along as well. And it seems that a growing number of celebrities are upgrading from their old cigarettes to new e-cigarettes.

Here at Eversmoke, we are excited to see even more Hollywood stars step into their new role as advocates of a smarter smoking experience, so that they will continue setting the stage for e-smoking to be recognized and accepted as the preferred alternative to expensive, odorous tobacco cigarettes.

If you are considering making the switch to e-smoking, take a moment to browse our site. You can also learn more about e-cigarettes by visiting our online Knowledge Center and e-smoking blog. There you'll find a wide array of information, from how to choose an e-cigarette to health and regulatory issues.

Join the e-smoking family today and start a new chapter in your life. Or as they say in Hollywood : “Lights! Camera! Action!”

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