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Do you remember when ole whatisface started vaping at some award ceremony for Americans? How about her, that singer nobody has heard of, when she created mayhem in the States because she vape…oh, let’s face it, nobody cares. Nobody on this side of the Atlantic knows who these celebrities are or what they do. In the United Kingdom, if tabloids and TV scheduling are to be believed, we care about one thing: shallow young people fumbling and frotting with each other on a tropical island.
It should be pointed out that while no intelligent person would ever stoop to watch Love Island, it is permissible (in the name of research) to view an episode. That’s what I told my daughter, as she stood in the doorway pointing and laughing. Fine, everybody points and laughs at me, but that’s not the point.
Love Island is like TV’s vaping in that some people find it very pleasurable while others look on wondering why and how. But, again like vaping, if it doesn’t upset the animals or offend the vicar then people can carry on to their heart’s content.
Over two million people watch Love Island, TWO MILLION. You can’t get sniffy about those figures if you’re into marketing. An advertising slot in one of the breaks of this show will cost a fortune because of the public’s affection for swimsuits and suntans.
Do you know what the public don’t like? It’s not the getting drunk on television like they do every day on Big Brother. It’s not naked bodies and dimly lit sexual acts. And, surprisingly, it’s not the cockney accents on Eastenders. No, what the public really hates is smoking.
Everybody on Love Island smokes. Even the fish and trees smoke. Probably. They smoke so much that 200 fags a day are delivered to the little televised paradise. And those smokes are sparked up in front of the young and old sitting transfixed to their televisions.
Fewer complaints were received about full-on sex being televised than were sent regarding the blatant smoking going on. Depending on your point of view, this is either a sign of the public maturing or the end of the world.
But what does complaining ever achieve? I’ve complained about meals, the lack of cricket on terrestrial television, and the Xmas Number 1 every year – hasn’t changed a thing.
It took just 24 moans about puffing on fags to get ITV bosses to reconsider their approach to tobacco-related diseases, and they’ve decided to deliver vapes to the island paradise.
Without having to spend a single penny on advertising, electronic cigarettes are going to be placed front and centre on a show only eclipsed by the Antiques Roadshow and Countryfile. Two million people are going to see vaping as a safer solution to smoking disease and death. They are going to see ecigs as sexy. It’s probably the greatest victory in the harm reduction battle to date, and we applaud it. Well done, Love Island.