U.S. senators slam 'glamorization' of e-cigarettes at Golden Globes

WASHINGTON Tue Jan 14, 2014 8:28pm EST

Various e-cigarette products for sale are seen at the Henley Vaporium in New York City December 18, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Various e-cigarette products for sale are seen at the Henley Vaporium in New York City December 18, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A group of U.S. senators is taking the Golden Globes to task for showing celebrities puffing on electronic cigarettes at this year's awards show, complaining such depictions glamorize smoking.

"The Golden Globes celebrates entertainers who are an influence on young fans," the four Democratic senators wrote on Tuesday. "We ask the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and NBC Universal to take actions to ensure that future broadcasts of the Golden Globes do not intentionally feature images of e-cigarettes."

"Such action would help to avoid the glamorization of smoking and protect the health of young fans," said the letter signed by Dick Durbin of Illinois, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Edward Markey of Massachusetts."

The Golden Globes ceremony that aired on Comcast Corp-owned NBC on Sunday night showed actor Leonardo DiCaprio smoking an e-cigarette during the broadcast, as well as nominee Julia Louis-Dreyfus puffing on one as part of an opening skit.

The Golden Globes, which honor achievement in film and television, are handed out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The show drew its best television audience in a decade.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered metal tubes that turn nicotine-laced liquid into vapor. Some analysts predict that the fast-growing market for the product could outpace that of conventional cigarettes within a decade.

Regulators are agonizing over whether to restrict the product as a "gateway" to nicotine addiction and tobacco smoking, or to embrace them as treatments for would-be quitters.

NBC Universal and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

(Writing by Peter Cooney; Additional reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

FILED UNDER:
We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (4)
Hermist wrote:
The Senators only focus on small issues while the country goes to hell. Sad!

Jan 14, 2014 8:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Hermist wrote:
The Senators only focus on small issues while the country goes to hell. Sad!

Jan 14, 2014 8:41pm EST  --  Report as abuse
gilross wrote:
Why is it that pompous politicians (mainly, sad to say, Democrats) around the country have made it their mission to impede access to these potentially miraculous devices based on the precautionary principle. 45 million American ADULTS are addicted to cigarette smoke, mainly (but not exclusively) for the nicotine. 440,000 die EACH YEAR and 8 million are chronically ill–from CIGARETTES, not from e-cigarettes! Why are these tragic statistics always ignored by agenda-driven or corrupt “public health experts,” regulators, and petty bureaucrats, in NYC, LA and now Chicago, trying to keep smokers smoking rather than vaping. “For the good of the children,” right? Or because “we just don’t know what’s in them.” BS! We sure as hell do know, and there’s nothing to threaten anyone’s health. Let My Vapers Vape! Ignore the alarmist and destructive warnings spewing from the CDC, AHA, ACS, CTFK et al. The FDA-approved methods have been proven to NOT WORK. Let smokers have this escape method. Don’t these “world leaders” have anything better to worry about? They seem to demand that the Golden Globes run out there and forcibly remove Leo’s e-cigarette so as not to disturb impressionable viewers. Really?
See our viral video explaining this subject clearly: http://bit.ly/19MPyEk
Gil Ross MD

Jan 15, 2014 5:28pm EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.