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The film was based on a true story and the internet premieres were greeted with rave reviews from vaping advocates.

With a laboratory setting used as a backdrop, the plot of the “action-adventure” documentary centered on the hero, e-cigarettes, pitted against its main antagonist, combustible cigarettes. It was produced by Public Health England (PHE) and directed by PHE’s Health Harms.

All great movies have three acts. The main characters are established in the first. They fall into a precarious position in the second. And, in the third, they escape. It’s movie-making 101. (Even if the final cut is just lab footage.)


For the Public Health Englands vaping video, Dr. Lion Shahab and Dr. Rosemary Leonard, two A-List health experts, set out to compare the effects of smoking combustible cigarettes against e-cigarettes. They focused on the 44 percent of potential viewers who falsely believe vaping is similar to smoking traditional cigarettes.


Eager to mimic the reality of smoking cigarettes, Shahab and Rosemary set up for the film’s climax by utilizing three bell jars stuffed with cotton, serving as body-doubles for an individual’s lungs.

Through a trio of tubes and into the bell jars, tobacco smoke, e-cigarette smoke and “normal air” were delivered. The results? The cotton in the tobacco jar appeared brown and the tube connecting to the air pump was littered with tar. However, the e-cigarette jar was relatively clear, sans a tinge of water vapor and e-liquid discoloration, according to

The natural air tube was written into the script as comedy relief.

Ready for the plot twist?


The Public Health England vaping video conclusion was anti-climactic. Recent research concluded vaping is about 95 percent less risky than smoking, reported.

PHE’s released footage appeared to back up the claim.

Acting as role players in Health Harms’ current campaign, about half a million long-term European smokers were expected to attempt to quit during January. Health Harms’ motivational “Personal Quit Plan” also makes a cameo appearance.

Film critics collectively said the footage showed little ambiguity in its ending and looked forward to an anthology.


“We need to reassure smokers that switching to an e-cigarette would be much less harmful than smoking,” PHE Director of Health Improvement John Newton said. It would be tragic if thousands of smokers who could quit with the help of an e-cigarette are being put off due to false fears about safety.

“This demonstration highlights the devastating harms caused by every cigarette and helps people see that vaping is likely to pose only a fraction of the risk.”

In the end, studio execs did not order a director’s cut for the footage.

Check out the full video here.

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