Hit ITV show Love Island will force contestants to leave the villa and go to a designated area to smoke or vape this year. A number of other rules will come into force this year to help safeguard against both contestants and viewers.

Love Island has a huge audience with millions of viewers eagerly anticipating the opening show of the reality TV series each summer. Whilst the show has countless fans, it also has its critics. Experts have questioned the show’s effect on viewers and contestants, following the deaths of two former contestants.

Love Island Smoking Ban

The Love Island smoking ban came into force last year and this rule has continued into 2019, and includes vaping. Contestants must leave the villa and go to an enclosed space if they wish to smoke, or vape. They must frequent the smoking area alone and will not be filmed while they are there.

In previous seasons, islanders would be seen smoking excessively in the villa. This sparked concerns that viewers would follow in the footsteps of the contestants, who are seen as role models to many.

Penny Woods, Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation, spoke to the Daily Star. She said,

“ITV’s decision to ban smoking inside the Love Island villa and restrict contestants from taking cigarette breaks on their own is very welcome.

“It shows a commitment not just to the health and wellbeing of Love Island’s stars but also to the health and wellbeing of the show’s audience, who may be influenced by the contestants’ behaviour.”

In 2017, e-cigarettes were shipped to the villa to help combat the habit. As mentioned earlier, they are now banned on the show, but is this the right action?

Should vaping be allowed on Love Island?

You may be expecting to read “Yes, it should be allowed”, however there are arguments for both sides.

1.       Vaping is not smoking and should not be grouped under the same rules.

2.       E-cigarettes should only be targeted towards smokers looking to give up and vaping in the villa may make them attractive to non-smokers.

The ‘for vaping’ group could argue that by sending vaping contestants out with smokers is punishing them for making a healthier choice. It could also be seen as a missed opportunity to incentivise the smoking contestants to switch to vaping whilst also promoting e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to cigarettes.

On the other hand, some critics may argue that by vaping, the contestants are beautifying e-cigarettes to non-smokers.

Penny Woods added to her previous comments and commented:

“Smoking is one of the toughest addictions to quit and vaping has been shown to be a very effective tool in helping people give cigarettes up.

“However, it is important vaping remains an effective way to quit smoking and not a lifestyle choice.”

Vaping should definitely be advocated and encouraged to help smokers quit cigarettes, as has been actioned by the UK government. Where and when it should be advocated however, is a grey area. Do you think vaping should be allowed in the Love Island Villa? Let us know in the comments.

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