Why Did 'Love Island' Ban Smoking? Contestants Are Required To Follow A Strict Set Of Rules


The 2019 series of Love Island is right around the corner, and a new batch of reality TV contestants are set to move into that iconic villa. During their time on the ITV show, islanders will be tasked with finding their perfect match, and face whichever challenges are thrown their way. Although it may appear that participants simply spend their waking hours relaxing by the pool, there are a strict set of rules each islander is required to follow — and certain things are completely forbidden. But why did Love Island ban smoking?

ITV bosses banned contestants from smoking on-screen ahead of the 2018 series of Love Island. A spokesperson told Radio Times at the time, “There will be no smoking within the Love Island villa or the villa garden this year.” The ban came into action following a huge amount of viewer complaints during the 2017 series, in which islanders were shown to smoke regularly on camera. Producers reportedly installed a designated smoking area within the villa complex.

Speaking to the Daily Star, an ITV spokesperson confirmed that the same smoking rules will apply during the fifth series, however, only one islander is allowed to smoke at a time — most likely to ensure that juicy conversations don't occur off-camera.

ITV / Shutterstock

According to the Radio Times, the head of ITV2, Paul Mortimer, has previously discussed the viewer complaints which led to the ban. He said, "More than 50 percent of complaints about the show were about people smoking, and because they’re a very sexy cast in a very sexy environment on a sexy channel, it made smoking look glamorous and Ofcom took a view that it was unacceptable. This year, we’ve got in place a plan for the smoking area to be outside the villa rather than outside the garden."

Angela Jain, the managing director at ITV Studios Entertainment, also went into detail about the whereabouts of the Love Island smoking area. She revealed, "we are treating it like smoking in a workplace. Everyone’s used to it at home — you can’t smoke in a restaurant, you can’t smoke at home. So we just created a very clear separate area at the front of the villa. There will be a camera on it but it won’t be as attractive a place to go into a huddle and have a conversation."


In addition to smoking, Love Island producers have also cracked down on alcohol consumption within the villa. In an interview with the Daily Star, an ITV spokesman went into detail about how producers keep an eye on the contestants' drinking habits. The spokesperson said, " We provide our Islanders with all of the necessary precautionary measures and all alcohol consumption is strictly monitored by our production team."

As previously reported by Bustle, the cast of Love Island series five was recently unveiled, and this year's batch of islanders include the brother of a famous boxer, a 21 year-old surfer, a scientist, a member of cabin crew, and many more. The 2019 series will make its highly-anticipated return on Monday, June 3 at 9 p.m. on ITV2, and I'm seriously looking forward to yet another summer of love.