Jan 21, 2014

Hollywood fad, or tobacco habits vapourised? The rise of e-cigarettes

Hollywood is hooked on e-cigarettes, and some health authorities in the United States believe they help people kick the tobacco habit. So why are they effectively banned in Australia?

Andrew Murfett — Freelance journalist in Florida

Andrew Murfett

Freelance journalist in Florida

With the notable exception of, well, any episode of Mad Men, a prominent Hollywood actress smoking on television, or in public for that matter, is a rarity. Particularly during a live network broadcast awards show.

Yet there was Julia Louis Dreyfus, blithely puffing away during last week’s Golden Globes ceremony (pictured). Her sunglasses and steely demeanour implied she was gently mocking the late Elizabeth Taylor. More notable was the fact  Dreyfus was not sucking on an old-fashioned dart, but an electronic device known as an e-cigarette.

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17 thoughts on “Hollywood fad, or tobacco habits vapourised? The rise of e-cigarettes

  1. kd

    This short video of David Nutt talking about ecigs is interesting. It confirmed the research I have done on the product.

  2. puddleduck

    Were it not for the public health costs, I wouldn’t much care if smokers killed themselves in pursuit of a puff. But what is the effect of eciggies on bystanders? Is there a passive vaping effect? If so, the same restrictions should apply as those applicable to cigarettes proper.

  3. Peter Kington

    Interesting article – really interesting – but it was lacking because it didn’t include any analysis of the sale of e-cigarettes across Europe (where the European parliament made some important decisions around the e-cigarette, in mid December). Not to mention China and the developing world.

    Having just returned from France, I had the great pleasure (not) of sharing Paris metro carriages and restaurants across the country with e-cigarette smokers. Don’t be fooled by the hype – they are offensive to the non smoker, simply because they seek to perpetuate a habit that kills. Right across France there are dedicated e-cigarette shops – it’s a booming business in a country where one doesn’t smoke a cigarette, rather makes love to the vile thing.

  4. 64magpies

    Kd, thanks for the link to the interesting video. As a user the suspicion for me is that the whole anti-smoking movement has only a miniscule concern for health. There is so much money in it for governments’ and lobby groups’ and the tobacco industry that I suspect they will combine to smash this fledgling industry.

  5. ShitsGottaStop

    I’ve been a user of e-cigarettes for a little over three months – that is, since the day I smoked my last tobacco cigarette. For me, e-cigarettes were the only solution to a 23-year addiction to tobacco. And, most importantly, they work as a smoking cessation device. They WORK. Unlike the patches, gums, sprays, and unlike the psych-drugs.
    Now I’m vaping, not smoking – so I’m happy. Happy to know that my e-cigs are sourced from companies NOT affiliated with the tobacco industry, and those b*stards no longer get any of my money. Happy to know that I’m no longer committing slow, drawn-out suicide. Happy to know that my new ‘habit’ is cheaper than the old one.
    Let the nay-sayers and the proponents of the ‘gateway to tobacco’ philosophy say what they will. They are now almost as bad as the tobacco giants – protecting their positions and their funding. The horse has bolted, and e-cigs are already everywhere.
    The only thing that should be regulated in this space is quality and safety, and (wishful thinking) keeping old dirty tobacco out of the e-cig industry. Let them die a slow painful death.
    Vape on.

  6. Chris Hartwell

    @ShitsGottaStop – I’m not questioning their value, as you say, as a smoking cessation aid. Except unlike every other SCA (smoking cessation aid) they’re regulated as medical devices, rather than medicines. Effectively that is to say – they’re not regulated.

    If, like my mother, you’re using a non-nicotine containing vape fluid, whatever – you’re inhaling atomised candy water. Hell, I’ll even get in on that (mmm, peach schnapps flavour!) But if it’s a medicine – as all the other nicotine-containing SCAs are – they should be regulated as such. That’s the key part. It’s not enough to say they are safe – they have to be proven safe.

  7. John Webster

    I’m sure that the way to discuss this article and similar ones is to substitute the word marijuana for e-cigarettes. Basing decisions on e-cigarettes, on your views about big tobacco is somewhat disingenuous as well as cynical.

  8. AR

    Like PuddleDuck – I have no problem with the road to the grave chosen by anybody, as long as i don’t have to pay for their final traumas.
    Nicotine is not a cancer danger, it is the tars & other shit is the combusted cellulose.
    So, as long as the by-vapour doesn’t impinge upon me, go for it.
    And I take JohnW’s point – it is the ideal way to ingest THC for the immediate hit, for those who can’t appreciate the millennia old tradition of eating/drinking it before the return of Raleigh.

  9. Matt Hardin

    I am not sure what you mean Peter. They are offensive because they look like smoking and the user gets nicotine? Or do they actually pose a health risk to you and spoil your surroundings with noxious fumes?

  10. Deb Downes

    You are all Crikey readers and therefore, presumably intelligent. How about doing some research before jumping on your respective band wagons? For links to plenty of research on e-cigs, Google Dr. Farsalinos. There is currently a research project on the safety of e-liquids being publicly funded by Vapers – that’s what we are – and we’re prepared to put our money where our mouth is.

    Ask yourselves the question “Who is/are the biggest losers if people stop smoking?”

    You’re all smart, I’m sure you’ll figure out the 4 key groups 🙂

    Oh, and I belong to the group who know that patches, gum, mind altering drugs, hypnotherapy and cold turkey are an extremely painful way to become a non smoker.

    And, as a Vaper, I would appreciate it, if our struggle to maintain access to an extremely effective means of becoming a non-smoker wasn’t stuffed up by people who want to muddy the waters by suggesting that this is an effective way to smoke dope!

    Thank you 🙂

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