Are celebrities making smoking cool again?

Sales of electronic cigarettes, labelled as a ‘healthy’ alternative to smoking, have risen tenfold in the last year, as celebrities help make puffing away ‘cool’ again.

Star endorsements of the devices have been credited as one of the factors behind new figures showing an increase in sales from £9million in 2012 to £90million in 2013.

Companies selling ecigs are also raking in the benefits from its products being allowed on screens, despite a 50-year-long ban on television ads for cigarettes.

Images depicting smoking of electronic alternatives get around the ban as the products, unlike real cigarettes, do not contain tar or carbon monoxide.

Celebrities such as Steven Dorff and Jenny McCarthy have recently featured in television advertisements for ecigarettes, and both Kate Moss and Simon Cowell have been spotted puffing away on the fake thing.

Using electronic cigarettes, known as ‘vaping’, allows smokers to inhale nicotine vapours without exposing their bodies to harmful components of a regular cigarette.

In the UK, 25 per cent of all attempts to kick the habit are made using e-cigarettes, making it the most popular quitting aid.

Around 1.3million Britons use battery-powered e-cigarettes, and sales of the fake fags are predicted to rise to £193million by the end of the year, hitting £339million annually by 2015.


In July, the British American Tobacco, makers of Lucky Strike, became the first tobacco company to launch a range of electronic cigarettes in the UK.

‘Tobacco companies, which are experiencing a long-term decline in demand for factory-manufactured cigarettes, are moving to cash in on the new trend,’ Andy Morton, UK commercial director of Nielsen.

However, not all are jubilant of the rise of the electronic nicotine sticks.

Across the pond, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to rid his city of both real cigarettes and the electronic alternative.

Recently leaked drafts of three tobacco-related bills that are expected to be introduced into the City Council indicate that Bloomberg's planning to regulate e-cigs into extinction.

Sales of e-cigarettes are already banned in Norway, Singapore and Brazil, among others, and France is set to impose the same restrictions on ecigs as on regular smokes.


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