So there I was, watching crap TV (New Tricks) and to my pleasure I see THE Dennis Waterman using an E-Cigarette. It was an exciting moment as it would seem that many and more Ecigs keep appearing on my screen, and mostly in a positive light. What with the EU bans and bad publicity that has been put out it's great to see a popular program advocating it's use as a healthier alternative to smoking. Admittedly I think he threw it away at the end but for me just seeing it was enough to reaffirm my faith in our societies burgeoning acceptance for vaping.
I then thought about other celebrities I have seen vaping. I read somewhere that the first real sign of celebrity vaping was Katherine Heigl's great interview with David Letterman two or three years ago. It was some very obvious product placement as Letterman eagerly gave it a try only to tell the audience how great it was but it was out there and that was enough. Plenty of celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon since. So far I believe a whole host of famous people from both sides of the pond we call the Atlantic have been spotted vaping.
Personally I've been thinking this is great, especially from a marketing point of view, once a lovely young man like Robert Pattinson has been vaping away for the world to see it's hard to stop the rush. Yet talking to a couple of people in the Ecig community it's become clear that not everyone finds this a good thing. If you look closely at what these A-listers are actually vaping on looks to be the rubbish, cheap Ecig that you could pick up in any petrol station or drug store. So, whilst it's great to be getting exposure it's as if those affected by it are being pushed towards the lower end of the market. Those of us who know what's available find this a little shocking as you would have thought that the ultra-rich of Hollywood would have been able to get hold of the top-of-the-range gear. Some say that this promotes a bad image and anyone affected by it will only go for the rubbish E-Cigarettes and quickly get put off vaping. That actually these celebrities are doing more harm than good to the cause.
Personally I still think it's a great thing that these celebrities are giving E-Cigarettes some great exposure, especially at such a critical time for the industry. Even if those following the trends start off with the cheap, rubbish Ecigs, I feel that as long as they're getting in to it then there can't be a problem. As long as those of us in the industry are doing our best to promote the next stages to vaping, and the places to get the better products, then actually celebrity culture is giving people an entry into it. We all started somewhere to get where we are today, and by getting the general public involved even at the bottom end we can help build the vaping community.