Despite serious concerns about the health effects of the use of e-cigarettes, they are currently completely unregulated. Without advertising restrictions, manufacturers have targeted adolescents using marketing tactics like celebrity endorsements in order to glamorize smoking. Many e-cigarette ads and marketing tactics are reminiscent of the tactics used by the major cigarette manufacturers before these practices were banned, as seen in this flashback presentation.
These flashbacks show how e-cigarettes are marketed today using the same tactics from the '50s and '60s, when cigarettes were marketed to kids as an act of rebellion.
Unlike traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes are not subject to the federal ban on television advertising. As shown below, Blu is using celebrity endorsers in TV commercials in the same way cigarette manufacturers once did.
Sponsorships and Promotional Events
Before the practice was banned, the major cigarette manufacturers used sponsorships and promotions to target youthful audiences. Now the e-cigarette companies target adolescents through sponorships of major music festivals and sporting events.
E-cigarette manufacturers are using cartoon-like imagery to promote their products while traditional tobacco manufacturers are prohibited from employing the same marketing techniques.
Youth E-Cigarette Use Rising
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported that the use of e-cigarettes by youth doubled in just one year from 2011 to 2012. At the same time, advertising expenditures have skyrocketed.
E-Cigarette Health Effects
Because e-cigarettes are unregulated, there are no conclusive findings about their health effects. Numerous studies, however, have found that e-cigarettes are potentially harmful.