Are E-Cigarette campaigns over-doing it?

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We all have bad habits that we’d like to kick out. One of the most hated habits by many adults in many countries is smoking cigarettes. This is mainly because of the damage the cigarettes cause to our bodies, families and even jobs. This is the reason why electronic cigarettes were made. Now although that is a great concept and great way to kick your bad habit, are we really changing anything if the advertisements for these e-cigarettes are rather similar to actual cigarette commercials?

A common e-cigarettes brand known as E-Lites in the UK recently released a commercial promoting the use of their e-cigarette product. However, their commercial had a lot of resemblance to the old Marlboro Cigarette commercial. This commercial had claimed that “better parenting skills, a healthier lifestyle and increased energy” can come from nicotine high. Ultimately, this was used to promote a “healthy” sense of well-being; a concept that clearly is not true based on what cigarettes can do to the human body. E-Lites came out with a very similar ad regarding what their electronic cigarette can do to make you a better person, to give you a better sense of happiness while being on some kind of a high, nicotine or not. So tell me, how is that kind of advertising any better than actual cigarette smoking? How are we supposed to believe that one is better than the other if they both give us the same sense of well-being?

When the ad appeared in a popular UK magazine known as “Observer”, its readers were very discouraged and disappointed. One reader in particular was rather concerned that more commercials/advertisements like this were going appear. The idea of having some enticing but false information like this out there worries the readers. When news of this disappointment got out, an experienced advertising executive made the announcement that “Observer” will go on publishing these ads, so long as they adhere to the ASA guidelines. These guidelines require that the ads must inform us on the nicotine content in these e-cigarettes and they must be 100% truthful. These policies are applied to the UK ads along with the UK’s own e-cigarette advertisement restrictions. The UK is in the process of making e-cigarettes more of a medication as opposed to a cigarette since many of those who use this product are using it in an attempt to quit smoking altogether, not just as a new outlet. Due to this fact, the UK is working hard to monitor the way these e-cigarettes are advertised.

Many people support all of these restrictions and regulations due to what an e-cigarette actually does. E-cigarettes do not give off smoke, they give off a water vapour that when inhaled will provide the user with a nicotine high. Also, since the e-cigarette is nothing more than water vapour, there are limited effects to the body except that the user is still involved in an addiction. There is another much larger group of people who are also in favour of e-cigarette use and appropriate advertisement. This includes the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency. This company is on the same side with the people supporting e-cig use and for the same reasons. When a big time agency is okay with it, so is almost everyone else. However, the British Medical Association agrees as well that the use of e-cigarettes should be encouraged but advertisements should be carefully observed so the product does not become attractive to underage smokers or non-smokers in general.

The president of the electronic cigarette industry is also aware of the conflict. He promises that companies are working hard with ASA to ensure that the products advertisements are completely ACCURATE and displayed in the proper way. He claims that somewhere around June/July of 2014 there will be a complete set of guidelines to be followed in the production of e-cigarette advertisements. While this process will be extensive and people will continue to draw up concerns, there is no doubting that the e-cigarette industry has changed the way people “smoke”. The use of tobacco products in Europe alone went down by more than 8% in the course of one year. These e-cigarettes are remarkable products that can easily change the tobacco and cigarette industry. However, we do need to monitor the way these products are advertised to ensure that a clear message is getting out and that no “non – smokers” are going to start smoking because that’s not what we want.

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