But now they've received a further endorsement by a man who knows a thing or two about predicting a future star (ok, maybe not Steve Brookstein, and whatever happened to Leon Jackson?); Simon Cowell.
The 53-year-old media mogul famed for playing the bad cop on his own money spinning television talent shows X-Factor and Britain's Got Talent, as well as having the squarest hair in show-business has become the latest celebrity to switch from traditional cigs to electronic cigarettes according to an article in the Daily Mirror.
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Cowell has long been a smoker and once boasted that he began smoking at the age of 8; which is the sort of boast made by the weird kid in your school class pretending to be cool. He probably claims to have once had trials for Manchester United and to know Jackie Chan too. Anyway, he's often been photographed puffing away on his preferred brand of menthol cigarettes, but Cowell has tried to ditch the cigs before, and turned to a hypnotist in 2012 to try and give up his reported 40-a-day habit.
Given the acts h's sat through on BGT it's a wonder the hypnotist made him sleepy enough, but Cowell did apparently manage to reduce his habit to 15-a-day. Now though he has made the switch to electronic cigarettes with his fellow Britain's Got Talent judge Amanda Holden telling the Mirror “Simon does not smoke any more. He has got a vapourising cigarette instead. He smokes air, or rather water. It's amazing.”
An unnamed Britain's Got Talent source/person posing as such to help give weight to this story went on to add “Simon is trying to cut down on the menthols and he's finding that the electronic cigarettes are really helping.” Whether Cowell will get what he's hoping for from electronic cigarettes remains to be seen, especially as he once told reporters; “I genuinely still love smoking. I equate smoking with having a good time.” A quote which would explain why he's never been seen smoking during one of his shows at least.
Cowell is one of a string of UK television stars who have taken to using electronic cigarettes in recent years. Several of the cast of The Only Way Is Essex have been snapped using the devices at parties, whilst X-Factor winner – one of the remembered ones – Matt Cardle has also been photographed with an ecig in hand. Cowell though is the most nationally recognised name to dabble in the product so it could be he who makes it into another star, providing he doesn't light up a big red cross for electronic cigarettes in the near future.