An article in a local paper in New York covers all the reasons anti-smoking adovcated have for pushing regulation of electronic cigarettes — particularly e-cig advertising. The arguments are flimsy and misdirected at best, but the piece serves as a good rundown of the fears public health groups have about electronic cigarette advertising.
Most of the seven points hinge on comparing e-cig advertising to that of tobacco cigarettes in 50′s, 60′s, 70′s, and even some tactics employed as late as the 90′s. Celebrity spokespersons, magazine ads featuring rugged men and beautiful women, sports and music festival sponsoring, “cartoon” mascots, and use of sexual imagery all are used as damning features of e-cig advertising.
If marketing tactics like these were to determine whether or not a product should be regulated, then there are few items in existence that for which we wouldn’t be dealing with red tape. Cars, soda, beer, make-up, tee-shirts, and even underarm deodorant would qualify for this sort of regulation. That e-cigs can come in a variety of sweet flavors might mean to the author that kids are being targeted, but this is like saying that colorful shirts only appeal to kids and should be kept off the market.
Only one point in the article is remotely particular to electronic cigarette advertising — “Switch, Don’t Quit” ad mottos and slogans. The author doesn’t say where these mottos exist (though we’re sure they’re around) or how exactly they make kids use e-cigs, but that is the implication the author is trying to get across. These sorts of slogans are clearly targeted at adults that smoke. How this sort of ad slogan automatically means e-cigs should be regulated is anyone’s guess though.
The article doesn’t dig deep on anything that it argues. Each point warrants nearly an entire article countering, but the author offers little more than a line or two parroting arguments used by others and with almost no real evidence or connection to the topic at hand — that the author believes electronic cigarettes need to be regulated.
We’ll dig a little deeper soon.