WATCH | I bet you've been watching your favorite TV show, and at some point thought to yourself....
"Wow. They smoke a lot on this show. How...unhealthy."
But really, those probably aren't real cigarettes.
Most of the time, actors on tv shows and movies are really smoking herbal cigarettes (no, not those kind). They look, feel, and burn just like the real things, but they don't have any nicotine or tobacco.
Instead, they're made with innocuous ingredients like rose petals, marshmallow leaf, chamomile, sage, licorice, wild lettuce, and clover.
Ruben Muñoz, with Studio Graphics in L.A., works with props and uses these herbal cigarettes all the time. Prop guys like Ruben even hand-make their own cigarette boxes, to make sure they fit into the story.
There are three reasons why herbal cigarettes are used. First, the obvious - most actors don't want to smoke hundreds of cigarettes in a week, take after take. But even if they wanted to, the law limits it.
California, where a large number of movies and shows are shot, banned smoking indoors. You can't smoke real cigarettes inside any location, for any reason.
Lastly, perhaps biggest reason, is that legislation passed in 1998 banned cigarette product placement. So, herbal cigarettes provided the best solution.
But it should be reiterated - even though these are herbal cigarettes, there's still combustion happening, and inhaling smoke of any kind from any product is inherently unhealthy.
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