In the news today while I was browsing for mentions of electronic cigarettes I came across an article from earlier this month on the Boston Globe that talks about the exposure of youth to advertisements from the electronic cigarette industry.
At first this kind of surprised me because I see very little advertisements for e-cigs, the only one I can really recall is a VaporFi ad that airs down here locally in Florida. But the article then goes on to mention that most of the teens surveyed reported that the advertisements they are speaking of are in-store, rather than traditional media like tv, newspapers, magazines or radio.
There is fear that these advertisements will lead to a new generation becoming hooked on nicotine, and perhaps acting as a gateway to traditional cigarette usage, which would reverse a recent trend of a decline in cigarette usage these past few years since the introduction of e cigarettes. You already know my thoughts on whether e cigs lead to traditional cigarettes – I disagree with it completely – and think that this study is overblown.
I thought the most telling statement from the article was this:
The report doesn’t prove advertising is actually causing more kids to pick up e-cigarettes and a trade group said the survey is flawed.
I think this is a lot of “much ado about nothing” as almost every state has a ban on selling e-cigarettes to minors, just as it is with traditional tobacco cigarettes. Some states, such as New Jersey, are proposing raising the age to 21 years old which I talked about in an earlier blog post.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think there are too many ads for e cigarettes? Do you think these are attracting minors to these products? I’m of the belief that it is an emphatic NO to both of those questions, but encourage your thoughts below in the comments.