Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Restrictions on e-cigarette advertising forces advertisers to target everyone

I was reading Clive Bates' letter to Dr Nathanson of the BMA (British Medical Association) today and I think he makes some excellent points when it comes to a ban, or restrictions on e-cigarette advertising (scroll down to point 8).

The reason for banning cigarette advertising is quite obvious, as it is a product that kills a lot of it's users, but as Bates points out, this is not the case with E-cigarettes. Bates says that banning e-cigarette advertising just gives Big Tobacco the upper hand, since it effectively will protect the cigarette market. In addition to that "advertising bans favour businesses with established distribution chains and experience of promoting their products without the benefit of advertising – namely tobacco companies", Bates writes. He suggests that if restrictions beyond the standard advertising code is necessary (which I don't think he feels), it should be in the form used to control alcohol advertising. So a ban on e-cigarette advertising, like we have in Norway right now, will only help Big Tobacco in one way or the other. But what about restrictions? Well of course the e-cigarette ads shouldn't target children (no advertising should), I think we all agree on that. But what about other restrictions?

In the US, for now, advertising is legal as long as it doesn't make any health claims. That means that they have taken away the strongest argument that can be used to target smokers specifically, which I think is what e-cigarette advertising should do. So what happens then? Well, they have two options: Don't advertise, or target everyone, not only smokers. Figuring out what they will choose isn't exactly rocket science. So this restriction on e-cigarettes will effectively make e-cigarettes more attractive to non-smokers. Somehow I don't really think that is what the health authorities want. Putting restrictions on e-cigarette advertising in this way is a bad idea. The advertisers will always find a way around the restrictions, and it will probably end up targeting a lot of people presenting e-cigarettes as trendy lifestyle products, making them very attractive to young people, non-smokers as well as smokers.


  1. A very good point, and the first time I've seen it mentioned.

  2. Oh I agree, and I've been saying it since I started vaping. For the love of PETE can we get on with getting the message that gen 2 devices are a direct replacement for burning tobacco out to smokers please. I needed to be told this three years ago which is why I support the advertising of ecigs as widely as possible. With a target audience of adult smokers who do not intend to stop tobacco use. We may be able to voluntarily tell big tobacco to go stuff themselves IN MY LIFETIME if we do.

  3. You've pointed out an important matter that the non-vaping community has apparently missed out. Vapes and cigarettes have different effects to the body, and should not have been lumped together. It would be hard for smokers to learn the positive aspects of vaping if advertisements pertaining to it are banned or restricted. There has to be a better solution to this, and I hope the lawmakers can think of a good compromise for it.
    Paul Larter @ VapeTime.co.uk

  4. Yes in fact promoters can not utilize social media effective as much as it could be the eLiquid for Electronic Cigarette is most salable item in all other accessories of ecig but you can't sale it without target audience.

  5. I got my first electronic cigarette kit on VaporFi, and I think its the best kit.


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  8. Even though vaping is way less harmful than smoking, I don't believe that people who are not addicted to nicotine should use e cigarettes. E cigs are only a way to harm ourselves less because we simply can't quit smoking. Really interesting and informative blog none the less. Thank you for sharing it.

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