Summary: Advertising for e-cigarettes does not face the same rules as traditional cigarettes so they are able to target their ads to young adults and teenagers through more used sources of media.
Advertising is a powerful resource for companies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is concerned with the amount that teenagers are exposed to for e-cigarette advertising. The CDC estimates that 7 in 10 teens are exposed to this advertising on TV, online, in print, and at retail outlets.
Although there is no direct link between advertising and teen e-cigarette use, the e-cigarette industry may be able to hook users the same way the tobacco industry used advertising to hook kids years ago. A study in November by Nicotine & Tobacco Research found that adults 18 to 34 that had never smoked or used e-cigs but were exposed to e-cig ads were three times as likely to try them than those who weren’t exposed. Their study also found that adults exposed to the ads were more curious than those who weren’t exposed by seven percent more.
E-cigarette use has tripled among teenagers in the U.S with more high-school students trying the devices for the first time over traditional cigarettes. There are very little regulations and they can be advertised for on most media sources without restrictions. Traditional cigarettes can only be advertised for on magazines, store displays, and direct mailings.
The ads for e-cigs use rebellion, independence, and sex to sell the product. Spending on advertising has risen to $115 million from $6.4 million five years ago. The majority of ads come from retail sources or online. The debate is still developing as to how effective e-cig ads are at enticing people to try the product and how unhealthy using the product may be.
Photo: casetext.comE-Cigarette Ads Increasing in Number and Effectiveness by Amanda Griffin