Vaping on the Screen

by Staff & Contributors

Smoking took a leap to the big and small screen through the last fifty years.  When the rise of the antismoking movement came about, smoking became less and less prevalent on the screen.  Now that vaping is starting to emerge as the next generation, will it make a similar movement?  As it turns out, yes, it has already started to find its place in television and movies.

Many movies have come out with small references, one offs, or the occasional blip of screen time showing characters vaping.  This can be seen all the way back in 2010 in the Tourist as one of the first visits to the cinema.  John Cusack may be one of the biggest advocates of the vaping movement by offering three movies that have characters vaping throughout. 

Another credit on the big screen came in the form of the Lazarus Effect from 2015.   This horror film has one of the biggest impacts for the vaping community.  If you have seen the movie, you probably get the reference.  If you haven’t seen it, we won’t spoil it for you.  Another recent entry to the world of vaping is Baby Driver released in 2019.  Eiza Gonzalez has a lot of screen time sporting her pretty pink vape.

On the smaller screen, vaping seems to be quite a bit more celebrated.  One of the biggest hits for the vape is in True Detective where you can catch Ani vaping throughout the season.  Her partner even has a couple of colorful one-off lines regarding the habit.  This serves as one of the few samples where vaping gets a spotlight instead of just a cameo.

Another boon for the vaping industry is spurned by the tragic loss on one reality show.  Deadliest Catch has a long run for popular crab fishing in the Bering Sea.  While smoking is prevalent on the show, a tragic loss of one of the captains caused a change.  It was never mentioned on the show that Captain Phil Harris passed from smoking.  However, his son Josh took over the ship and switched to vaping instead of lighting up.

The last entertaining entry for the small screen comes in the recent release American Gods that came out in 2017.  In this twist on spirituality, old gods meet up with new gods and show the transition of belief structures.  One of the characters depicts the embodiment of today’s youth.  This god touts being the technical god, lord of the internet, social media and culture.  This character also slings some pretty slick vape tricks.

In the last ten years, smoking has dropped significantly on television and in the movies.  While vaping is not nearly as popular as smoking was in its golden age, it is on the rise.  Several of the one offs and series that represent vaping do benefit the industry.  It serves to normalize and make it acceptable.  Overall, the more exposure the community can get, the better it will be in the long run.

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