E-Cig TV Ads Targeting Children, Study Suggests

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking

The 3 Week Diet

Since 1971, TV advertisements of cigarettes were banned. However, this restriction is not enough to stop e-cigarette manufacturers from placing TV advertisements likely to be viewed by children and young adults.

bigstock-Young-Girl-Is-Breaking-A-Cigar-62129348Research from the Research Triangle Institute International suggests that from 2011 to 2013, TV ads viewed by children and young adults promoting e-cigarettes increased by 256% and 321% respectively.


According to Dr. Jennifer Duke, author of the study, TV is an important tool used by advertisers to reach out to the youth, this is not surprising since e-cigarette brands have been purchased by tobacco companies, who have the biggest advertising budget. What is very surprising is that the exposure of young adults to these advertisements are rapidly rising.



Facts You Need to Know About E-Cigarettes

There is no solid study to date that rebuff the possible health risks of e-cigarettes. The FDA announced that it would start regulating e-cig manufacturing and sale.

There is no law that prevents e-cig manufacturers from placing youth-oriented flavorings. The existing laws only prohibits tobacco companies from using these flavorings in regular cigarettes, but do not cover e-cigarettes. E-cigs are available in a variety of flavors like apple, bubblegum, etc. They also come in different colors which can easily attracts young buyers.

According to a survey conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2011 to 2012 the percentage of students from middle school and high school have more than doubled. It went from 4.7% to 10%. This is alarming since early exposure to nicotine can cause the brain to favor continued use later in life, according to researchers.

TV advertisements expose the youth to hundreds of subliminal messages every day. These advertisements are even trying to promote not only the sale of their products, but brand loyalty in the future as well.

What is more disturbing is that the research only studied TV ads. How about social media, radio, and print ads which the youth could possibly have more exposure to.

Research on the possible effects of e-cigarettes continues, but one thing is true for both the regular and electronic cigarettes – nicotine in both cigarettes is extremely addictive and may cause different side effects.

Too Little Knowledge is Dangerous

E-cigarette manufacturers may claim that e-cigs offer a safer alternative to smoking. But history would remind us, that tobacco and cigarette companies have done this before in their cigarette campaigns and advertisements. They are not even backed by solid proofs and studies. One can say that these claims are purely marketing strategies to lure you into smoking. Take no chances especially that your health and your future is at stake.


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