Don’t repeat history

Tobacco advertisement is one of the most highly regulated forms of marketing, for years we haven’t seen Marlboro stamped across a Formula One car or magazine pages filled with glamour’s women smoking – Why?

Cigarettes (tobacco) and cigars were glorified as glamorous, prestigious almost – just think back to a black and white film, am I right in saying smoking was regularly depicted? It was the trend, an image thing – but that image soon turned into an addiction. And so, what was once hyped up to be  cool left many with a dependency on cigarettes – fashion soon turned into a life threatening, harmful addiction. E-cigarettes will follow suit. Let’s not repeat history.


Cigarette commercials haven’t been seen on TV for fourty years; being banned in 1970. New regulations and legal settlements would soon see advertisements stripped from event sponsorships and off billboards, and the law imposed that no celebrities or cartoons could promote the product. And so, the promotion of tobacco cigarettes through time has been phased out by government regulations – but with e-cigarettes, a new type of cigarette, but still very much a smoking, I mean vaping device we are slowly seeing cigarette ads creep back onto TV, into sponsorship and into the lime light.

And what e-cig companies are doing is they’re pushing the same themes as old cigarette ads: “sophistication, freedom, equality and individualism,” (, 2013) – just check the latest TV ad by Blu Ecigs staring celebrity Jenny McCarthy below:

This type of advertiesment and marketing is what many tobacco opponents say is the problem:

“The ads, themes and messages are precisely the same (as those) used by the tobacco industry for decades that made those products so appealing to young people,” said Matt Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “For an industry that wants to project itself as helping to solve the tobacco problem, they’re behaving just like the tobacco industry in its worst days,”, 2013.



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9 responses to “Don’t repeat history

  1. Do your homework.

    I see your point about the ads, but get on the ground, away from multi-billion dollar Tobacco companies joining the Vape-train, and you’ll see the public health revolution taking place.

    Trust me, if we could, or wanted to quit cold-turkey, we would. but E-cigarettes, or Vapes, as I prefer, are 880 times safer than tobacco cigs, and you are in complete control of what you put in your body and how.

    None of us working on the ground like Big-tobacco’s involvement, but People who get into Vaping quickly get out of RJ Reynods and Phillip Morris’ pockets.

    Wait until someone you know makes the switch. You’ll see for yourself. 🙂

  2. Stina Marie

    The reason you are seeing adds for Blu and Njoy are because those are owned by “Big Tobacco”

  3. samoensmark

    This article is spectacularly short sighted. The Difference between cigarette smoking and vaping is the massive difference in relative harm. Cigarette smoking places massive toll of death and ill health on entire societies. Most creditable research suggests that this will not be the case with vaping. Vaping should be promoted as being being relatively better than smoking and as such it is appropriate to use standard marketing techniques. All the research that you as an organisation are using to tell us that vaping is a fateway to smoking actually found that young people who are vaping where in fact aready smoking. This should be embraced as a postive by any one with a genuine interest in public health. Vaping is a entity that will genuinely save lives and should be alllowed the means to reach the market in order to acheive a greater popularity than cigarettes. To deny this is in fact to endanger lives by gross misinformation.

  4. RobbieW

    e-cigs have the potential to be the greatest public health prize in a generation, any discussion about their risks or regulation must always be balanced against potential benefits.

    If regulation inhibits the spread of e-cigs regulators will be responsible for millions of deaths

  5. Laura

    Look as long as it is a healthier alternative, then I don’t see why they are so bad. Whether it is a long term solution for quitting cigarette smoking I’m not sure.

  6. ” e-cigarettes, a new type of cigarette, but still very much a smoking, I mean vaping device”” <<<–This is a pure, unadulterated, LIE. E-cigarettes are VERY MUCH *NOT* A SMOKING DEVICE. A "smoking device" involves combustion that creates SMOKE. E-cigarettes are not lit on fire and do not produce any smoke and are therefore NOT smoking. Although vapor may appear similar than smoke, appearing similar does not make something the same. The vapor escaping a hot cup of coffee or tea, or your breath on a chilly day may LOOK like smoke, but it doesn't mean that coffee, tea, or normal breathing are the same thing as lighting a cigarette on fire and inhaling smoke.

    Familiar with the old adage, "where there's smoke, there's fire." Well, it is absolutely true, but it means that where there's no fire, there's no smoke. There is no fire in e-cigarettes, therefore there is no smoke, therefore they cannot be called "smoking devices" any more than using a pencil and the air on a cold day to mimic the act of smoking can be called a "smoking device". When my daughter was only 8, she called it a "pretend cigarette", so you can call it "pretend smoking" if you want, but even the most convincing actor is still pretending….Pretending to do something is by no means the same thing as actually doing a thing: Just ask any actor who's played the role of someone battling an incurable disease and lived to tell the story: The difference between pretend and real is quite important.

  7. I definitely think that the E-Cig companies have gone down the wrong marketing route. These ads are very reminiscent of the old days, where movie starts were smoking in every scene possible. It really sets a bad example. I think electronic cigarettes can be used to aid a smoker in quitting their habit though. I know someone who has switched to e-cigs for week day smoking, but he will have around 3 to 4 real cigarettes on the weekend. Sure he’s still smoking, but he’s cut down a hell of a lot from 3 packs of 25 a week. Brands like Nicorette should definitely jump on board the e-cig train and get smokers to stop smoking! Great and informative blog, keep it up.

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