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When chain smoker Hon Lik watched his father die of lung cancer he didn’t want to share the same fate. So much so that he invented a device which would deliver nicotine, thought to have no connection with the cause of lung cancer, without the tars, toxin and combustion that cause so much of the damage of smoking.
Increasingly, the Chinese scientist’s concerns are being shared by other celebrities.
The most recent star to puff on an electronic imitation is Charlie Sheen. He likes the device so much that has announced plans to go into business selling it. Although with a reputed 8 million dollar salary to replace after being fired from Two and a Half Men, he’s going to have to sell an awful lot of them.
But it’s not just wacky stars that is spurring actors to use the device. According to Jean Rasbridge, managing director of ECigaretteDirect, the UK supplier of the HALO e cigarette, theatre companies use the e-cigarette as an alternative to cigarettes.
“When the Welsh National Opera performed Carmen, an opera about a cigarette factory, they asked us to provide them with zero nicotine electronic cigarettes.” The devices were used on stage by Fiona Harrison, pictured at the start of this article.