Opinionated Me

Stop E-Cigarette Advertising

I saw something last night that bothered me. Rather, it made me angry. E-cigarettes are now being advertised on television. (Pause. I can see your shock, your mouth as dropped and you say “Whhaaaat? How is that possible?”)

Why is this a bad idea? Well, kids are impressionable… and in case you haven’t seen the ad, let me sum it up– it tries to make smoking (or inhaling) an e-cigarette cool. Yes, it compares it to traditional cigarettes and markets itself as the “better” or “healthier” alternative. HAHA. It’s a joke right… I mean who approves this stuff?

I predict it’s only a matter of time before more enraged parents complain about this. I mean, surely I’m not the only one, right? I’m thinking of starting a hashtag #banecigads or… #noEcigAds… or #parentsagainstEcigs … what do you think?

Some members of Congress are bothered by this, and thank goodness! My Senator, Chuck Schumer, has vowed to fight the loopholes in advertising law. Schumer said, ““We have made so much progress over the last decade in keeping cigarettes out of the hands of children, but now e-cigarettes – with their trendy packaging and kid-friendly flavors – are pushing us back in the wrong direction.”  Shumer is co-sponsoring, along with Senators Boxer, Durbin, Harkin and Blumenthal, legislation to protect children from e-cigarettes. The bill is called the Protecting Children From Electronic Cigarette Advertising Act of 2014, and it seeks to prohibit the marketing of electronic cigarettes to children.

As a concerned parent, or concerned citizen, you might be wondering why e-cigarettes aren’t subject to the same laws that cigarette and other tobacco products are. It is because they do not contain tobacco, so they are not subject to the same laws around marketing to children that conventional cigarettes are. (They do contain nicotine.) Of course, e-cigarette companies have begun to exploit this loophole by marketing their products directly to children by using fruity child-friendly flavors and commercials and ads that make smoking e-cigs look “cool.” According to Schumer’s office, they also do not refer to them as cigarettes, but choose other names such as “hookah pens” or “e-vapes.”
Check out these colors and flavors used to attract young consumers:

According to a study published by the JAMA Pediatrics released earlier this month, Kids Who Try E-Cigs are 7x More Likely To Eventually Smoke Normal Cigarettes. The study also concluded that” Use of e-cigarettes does not discourage, and may encourage, conventional cigarette use among US adolescents.”

Other alarming stats: In 1.8 million middle and high school students said they tried e-cigarettes. The CDC estimates that the percentage of students who tried e-cigarettes had more than doubled in one year.

I’m hoping that taking e-cigarette ads off my TV, airwaves and the internet will happen quickly, given that parents have a louder voice now than they did years ago when the issue was cigarettes. (Thank you, social media!)

Who’s ready to join the anti e-cig bandwagon? 


Diana Limongi
Diana a mom, activist, nonprofit professional, podcaster and writer from Queens, NY. She writes about motherhood, activism, raising my multilingual kids, culture and travel. She and her multicultural family live in Queens, NY.

1 Comment

  1. My stepmom died of lung cancer caused by smoking. It’s was a horrible, slow, and painful death. Cigarette makers knew their products were addictive but they continued to sell them. They lobbied and used their cash to hide the truth from the general public. They had no qualms about it and now the same is happening with e-cigs. Different name, same death machine.

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