Over the recent years, a new smoking phenomenon is taking the world by storm: e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes, or vapor cigarettes are battery powered devices that deliver a variety of flavors in the form of vapor. These devices changed chemicals into a form of aerosol for the smoker to then inhale. The recent boost in popularity from these devices stems from the fact that they are a healthier option for regular smokers. They aren’t as harmful to ones health but mimic cigarettes by vaporizing a nicotine-laced liquid. Though these effects do initially seem beneficial, it begs the question if this new, highly popularized product will attract a younger generation of smokers. Law dictates that no one can purchase e-cigs until he or she is 18, but that does not mean that advertisements are ineffective. In my opinion, I believe that with their recent popularity combined with the technological advances in advertising through social media, e-cigarette companies are building consumer loyalty in younger children before they are even allowed to purchase the product.
In the link below, you will find an overall explanation of e-cigarettes as well as regulation laws for both a state and local level:
In a recent article published by ABC, the amount of exposure that children and teens are receiving to these new cigarettes is increasing rapidly. According to two different surveys conducted one year apart from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage for middle and high schoolers using e-cigarettes more than doubled. In one year from 2011 to 2012, it went from a mere 4.7 percent to 10 percent. I believe, as do many, that part of this increase is due to to the advertisements and marketing schemes used on a daily basis. With this new development of e-cigarettes, manufacturers are able to substitute practically any flavor into the liquid to appeal to the consumer. Well, there are many flavors that greatly appeal to a younger audience and marketers, as mentioned in the ABC article, are definitely seeing the potential value in that. As a child, there are a couple of flavors that stand out as memorable. From cherry, to cotton candy, to chocolate, certain flavors would attract a younger audience and provide a correlation to his or her childhood. Now, yes some of these flavors are a bit extreme, but the message is not in the flavor but the tactic behind it. By manufacturing and marketing these youth-oriented flavors, business are advertising less and less the risk of smoking, and emphasizing more the fact that there is a cigarette for everyone. No, it isn’t a traditional cigarette, it is the healthier cigarette option, but none the less, is promoting smoking in a much younger audience.
To see the full article from ABC, visit: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/06/02/e-cigarette-tv-ads-target-kids-study-finds/
E-cigarettes are slowly becoming the dominate option for both veteran and incoming smokers. They provide not only a healthier option but a more varied option with the difference in flavors. However, apart from the health information, this product is in fact attracting younger audiences at an earlier age due to their innovation and television advertisements. Now, if we were to fast forward fifteen years, will there be an e-cigarette in every 12-year olds backpack? Who’s to tell, but what we can count on is that if a marketer sees potential value in exposure, they will be sure to capitalize on it however they see fit. In this instance, though potentially questionable, vapor cigarette advertising does not seem to be something that will be fading away from the media anytime soon.
For a further look into these new and more frequent advertisements, click the hyperlink below entitled “Joe Camel back on TV?”