Hollywood gossip magazines – the ones you only read while waiting at supermarket checkouts – are riddled with features about celebs doing everyday things like buying coffee, shopping at Costco, or having the nerve to leave their homes without makeup. It excites people who want to feel commonality with A-listers … and offers them a sense of normalcy about their own lives.
Well, now you can add vaping to that list of everyday things. As any vape enthusiast knows, the world is inundated with articles dedicated to celebrities who have made the switch to vaping – thanks, in part, to film luminary Leonardo Dicaprio.
What’s Vaping, Gilbert Grape?
Leo seems to have been a vaping enthusiast since the industry boomed. But he broke down walls when he garnered serious mass-market coverage of his e-cig. At Rao, one of NYC’s most elite restaurants, Leo vaped away indoors, with nary a concern about those around him.
Before long, Leonardo Dicaprio and his green-tipped cig-a-like were rarely photographed apart from one another. On set. In restaurants. Even riding his bike. … Leo vaped when- and wherever he wanted.
Only then did other celebrities follow suit. And they followed en masse.
Tanks of New York
Several years back, when eGo-style “pen” devices were beginning to permeate the vaping scene, our buddy Leonardo Dicaprio was once again at the forefront of new vape technology. At a time when most Hollywood smokers were just making the switch to cig-a-like devices, Leo had already ditched his in favor of the timeless variable-voltage pen and clearomizer combo.
Not that it changed his habits, mind you. Leonardo Dicaprio vaping was as common a sight in Hollywood as fast cars and purse dogs. He could regularly be seen making large volumes of vapor on every red carpet event he attended, bringing a once-niche hobby into full view of the mainstream.
Not only did fans see Leonardo Dicaprio vaping, years after he first started. But they noticed he was using more advanced equipment, highlighting an evolving industry.
In fact, Dicaprio was once so protective over his vape pen, he wouldn’t even let fellow luminary Miley Cyrus take a few puffs at a Saturday Night Live afterparty – something she recounted for Jimmy Fallon almost immediately after.
By 2016, celebrities vaping was about as newsworthy as another KISS farewell tour. But this made it an exciting time for the industry. Celebrities like Katy Perry, Sarah Silverman and Johnny Depp all flaunted their vape pens for anyone who bothered to ask (though the contents of those clearos remains curious). Had Hollywood settled on a “standard” vape device?
Nope. Just ask Leo.
At the 2016 Screen Actors Guild awards show, Leo stole camera time from many of the night’s winners, by vaping on a modern mod/tank combo at a crowded table. Perhaps his vape etiquette was a little “off,” but no one around seemed to mind the plumes of vapor that hovered over his corner of the room throughout the night.
Within seconds of his nationally broadcast clouds, social media and gossip sites had jumped all over the scene, creating an outcry from doctors, angry moms, and organizers of other awards shows. The group producing the Oscars responded almost immediately, letting Leo know his vape was not welcome at their show.
But, despite the momentary negativity, Leonardo Dicaprio once again brought vaping to the forefront of public awareness, which only means better things for mass acceptance down the line.
Inception in Hollywood
It’s no secret that vaping is a mass-market practice now, and even the most image-conscious A-listers no longer find themselves relegated to local gatherings and quiet corners. Even longtime celebrity smokers like Jack Nicholson and Simon Cowell have successfully made the jump from analogs to electronic devices, and are also praising how much of a better alternative it has been for them.
Part of this credit has to go to Leonardo Dicaprio, who seems to have successfully transitioned away from cigarettes for good. Though he likely never fancied himself a poster boy for vaping in Hollywood, there have certainly been a slew of celebs who have been seen with their cig-a-likes, pens and mods since Leo went public nearly a decade ago.
Maybe our society is a little too preoccupied with celebrity lifestyles, but Leo vaping has only brought positive attention to the hobby we hold so dear. If it means gaining acceptance and positive press for vaping, we’re happy to be like those gossip mags and say, “celebrities … they’re just like us!”
(On second thought, no we won’t. But cheers for Leonardo Dicaprio vaping, all the same.)