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Published on February 10th, 2020 | by minshewnetworks


Vaping on Screen



The most effective advertisements for cigarettes came from Hollywood. Classic movies from the industry’s Golden Age, particularly the ‘40s and ‘50s, consistently glamorized smoking. The biggest stars almost always had a cigarette between their lips. For obvious reasons, this trend slowly faded away. But not before millions of people began to emulate their favorite actors and actresses by taking up smoking.

As Hollywood shows cigarettes the door, vaping looks poised to fill the empty space. E-cigarettes, billed by many health experts as a favorable alternative to smokes, have taken our culture by storm in recent years, with many celebrities hopping on board. One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, has been photographed vaping on a number of occasions, including during a nationally televised awards ceremony.

Given that the power supply for e-cigs is just a battery, they may not carry the same temptation as cigarettes, which owe much of their allure to the look and sound of a struck match or ignited lighter. But that hasn’t stopped them from making their way into TV and film, as the following examples demonstrate.

True Detective

In the second season of this popular HBO series, Ani Bezzerides, a tough and complicated female detective played by Rachel McAdams, is regularly seen vaping. In one scene, she takes her vape pen out while riding in the car with policeman Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch), who says without looking at her: “Is that a ****ing e-cigarette?”

The Tourist

Johnny Depp has long been one of the most bankable and iconic stars in Hollywood. In this movie he plays a math professor named Frank Tupelo. When the audience is first introduced to Frank, they find him sitting on a train reading a book and smoking an e-cig that looks just like a traditional cigarette. In addition to evoking the days when one could light up wherever and whenever one wanted, the scene showed that vaping is the new smoking.

Drive Hard

Getting his start in ‘80s teen comedies like Sixteen Candles, John Cusack achieved his breakthrough as a dramatic and versatile actor in 1990’s The Grifters. In recent years Cusack has embraced e-cigs, and it’s on full display in this straight-to-video action flick, with his character Simon Keller vaping throughout.

House of Cards

One of Netflix’s most successful series, House of Cards took a hit when its lead actor, Kevin Spacey, was accused by several people of sexual misconduct. Spacey was quickly fired and his character, Machiavellian politician Frank Underwood, was killed off. In an earlier episode, Underwood is shown vaping while at work on his laptop in his bedroom.

“You’re cheating,” his wife says when she walks in.

“No I’m not,” Frank replies, “it’s vapor. You should try it—addiction without the consequences.”

Dirty Grandpa

This comedy was not very well-received critically, though it did bridge a generational gap by starring Robert De Niro and Zac Efron. During a wild party scene, the latter’s character takes a huge draw from a vape mod, only to be told that it contains crack cocaine. After fretting for a moment, he celebrates the mishap.

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