It is extremely concerning that electronic cigarettes are targeting our youth through lack of regulations, marketing and advertising.
So, what do I mean by "lack of regulations"? Because there is not a lot of laws and regulations on the selling of e-cigarettes, they are being sold to minors, making false claims on there packaging and participating in marketing and advertising these products.
Tobacco advertising was banned in the 1970's however, this does not pertain to e-cigarettes! Due to the lack of regulation on these products, e-cigarettes can be marketed to anyone from television to social media. With the exponential growth of social media and its young users, this industry now has even more outlets to market to our youth then ever before. In 2014, tobacco companies spent $115 million on e-cigarettes which aided in millions of teens to try vaping.
The advertisements that are being used for vape products resemble all too familiar with the old tobacco cigarette ads that caused millions of people to start smoking original cigarettes (which we later found to cause heart disease, cancers, high cholesterol, etc.) The tobacco companies are using these advertisements because they know they worked in the past! Former celebrities were used to sponsor cigarettes and we are now seeing todays celebrities and figures youth look up to on electronic cigarette ads. These ads are also targeting the youth by creating images that their customers are going to become more attractive, thinner, or prettier, etc. You are seeing advertisements at sporting events, concerts, music festivals and more. Giveaways are being handed out with branding for youth to use and produce free advertisement.
Other examples of targeted advertisements is how they are trying to normalize the product and making it look like an everyday item (such as a flash drive or a pen), comparing the product to candy and cocktails, even making false claims to trick you into thinking the product is healthy.
All this information and much more are proof that these targeted advertisements are working!
More youth are starting their nicotine addiction using E-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes.
That means, if e-cigarettes never existed, there is such a high possibility that those teens would have never touched a traditional cigarette and would have no dependence to nicotine whatsoever. Shame on Big Tobacco. Shame.
Visit us again on Wednesday to learn more about Big Tobacco and how they are connected to these advertisements and e-cigarettes.
"E-cigarette Ads and Youth" Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 05 Jan. 2016. Web. 2 Feb. 2017. <https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/wcigarette-ads/>
The Firth Youth Center is a private 501(c)(3) charitable organization devoted to serving the vulnerable youth of Phillipsburg, NJ since 1954 through a wide variety of educational, recreational, and athletic opportunities. The Firth Youth Center is committed to building the resiliency of our most underserved populations while continuously promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion for the betterment of our children and community.