The number of celebrities choosing to try electronic cigarettes as a tobacco replacement continues to grow. The latest example is Michelle Rodriguez, the actress best known for her role in the 2009 blockbuster "Avatar". Rodriguez has also appeared in "Fast and Furious", "Machete", and the "Lost" television series.
Celebrity spotters recently got a glimpse of Rodriguez partying with other celebs at Robin Thicke's birthday party in West Hollywood. Upon leaving the party, the 34-year-old actress reached for a Vapestick rather than her traditional tobacco. Whether or not she's trying to quit tobacco, no one knows for sure.
The important thing is that Rodriguez is not the first star to smoke an e-cig (also known as "vaping") while in the public eye. Many other celebrities have taken the plunge before her; some want to generally quit smoking while others just want to reduce tobacco consumption. It is both a health issue and one of maintaining a good public image in a culture where smoking is looked on as taboo.
Thank You Johnny Depp
One of the first celebrities to be seen with an e-cigarette is none other than Pirates of the Caribbean star Johnny Depp. As a matter of fact, Depp used an e-cigarette in the 2010 thriller "The Tourist" with co-star Angelina Jolie. In what could be the most important film scene for the e-cigarette industry, Depp's character gives a vaping demonstration to his fellow passenger by touching the tip to his hand to show it was not burning.
Other celebrities known to use e-cigarettes include the Rolling Stones' Ronnie Wood, actors Leo DiCaprio and Catherine Heigl, and British pop sensations The Sweet Harlots and Girls Aloud. Both the Harlots and Catherine Heigl chose an e-cigarette by VAPESTICK to replace their tobacco. The others use a variety of different brands.
The Appeal of Electronic Cigarettes
The e-cigarette has great star appeal for a number of reasons. First and foremost is the fact that it allows celebs to smoke in public places where tobacco is not normally allowed. The fact that the electronic device emits no smoke means it is not included in most smoking bans. That lends itself well to the hard partying ways of the rich and famous.
Second, vaping is quickly becoming en vogue whereas cigarette smoking is now one of the greatest evils of modern culture. Image-conscious celebrities still want to enjoy the nicotine habit but do not need their images tarnished by photographs portraying them holding tobacco cigarettes. Electronic cigarettes are a way to be stylish, still enjoy nicotine, and do something that looks cool.
Third is the idea of harm reduction. It has long been known that cancer, emphysema, and other smoking-related diseases are caused mainly by the thousands of toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Even though nicotine is addictive, the chemical free nature of e-cigarette vapour is believed to cause less harm through less exposure to toxic chemicals.
How They Work
If you are not familiar with electronic cigarettes, the technology is fairly simple. It is based on the age-old principle of vaporisation, whereby a liquid is heated right to the temperature of vaporisation, thereby transforming it into an aerosol mist that can be inhaled. It's the same technology the healthcare sector has been using for decades with medical vaporisers. It's also the same technology used to power artificial smoke machines seen in live theatre productions and rock concerts.
In the case of electronic cigarettes, a small, battery-powered atomiser heats the nicotine liquid to create the mist. The propylene glycol in the liquid is what gives the vapour its smoke-like look and feel. The good news is that propylene glycol has been approved by health organisations around the world as safe for human consumption.
If you are worried about inhaling propylene glycol, there is no need to be. It is also used as an ingredient in asthma inhalers due to its properties as a humectant. Propylene glycol is found in thousands of consumer products, ranging from cosmetics to baby care items to food preservatives.
The other ingredients in the typical e-cigarette liquid include nicotine, food flavouring, and distilled water. Former smokers who managed to wean themselves from nicotine can continue vaping with zero nicotine liquid. Many do so just for the sheer enjoyment of the experience.
As the number of electronic cigarette users continues to grow, we expect to see more celebrities jumping on the vaping bandwagon. Whether it's actors like Michelle Rodriguez or musicians like Ronnie Wood, electronic cigarettes provide a viable alternative to inhaling tobacco smoke.