Authorities in the United States have announced that they will be launching a new “quit smoking” ad campaign that will aim to put vaping in the same class as smoking and encourage consumers to stop using conventional cigarettes as well as e-cigs. The new campaign will attempt to challenge e-cigs’ perceived status as “stop smoking aids,” even though there are few vape companies that have marketed their product as a means to quit smoking.
While an untold number of people have begun using electronic cigarettes to reduce their dependency on tobacco cigarettes, e-cig companies have been careful to avoid labelling their product as quitting aids, especially in the UK, where authorities are very strict about this matter in particular. Thus, it does seem fairly odd that US authorities would look to discredit e-cigs as quitting aids, when they have never been widely marketed as such by e-cig companies, at least not in recent years.
E-Cigs Helping Smokers Cut Down, But Can’t Be Called a Quitting Aid
Many experts agree that the first step in ditching a tobacco smoking habit is reducing the number of cigarettes smoked each day. Quitting is usually a gradual process, as very few smokers have been able to quit suddenly or “cold turkey.”
Despite the fact that many professionals in the medical industry have called e-cigs our greatest chance of ridding the planet of tobacco addiction during this century, some authorities are clearly trying to send the unfounded and potentially detrimental message that electronic cigarettes should not be used as quitting aids, and that they may be just as bad as cigarettes.
The ad campaigns use obvious scare tactics to persuade consumers into believing that most e-cig users continue to smoke even while vaping, thereby implying that vaping could be considered a companion to smoking and not an actual quitting aid. However, the fact remains that it is up to the consumer whether they chose to use e-cigs to aid in harm reduction or the complete elimination of their tobacco smoking habit, and each person has a right to decide whether they find e-cigs to be helpful in their quitting regimen.
Still, e-cig companies are very careful about not insinuating that their products could be used to help the user quit smoking, which is why many feel that the recent campaigns are based on flawed arguments.
Authorities in California Joining In
California is widely regarded as a trend-setting state as far as vaping is concerned, with vape shops and e-cig outlets practically around every corner, and a huge vaping subculture developing in the state during the first decade of the burgeoning industry.
As such, Californian authorities have been running an ongoing ad campaign stating that e-cigs are “brought to you by the people who brought you lung cancer.” This slogan has become a popular argument amongst the anti-vaping crowd, with many pointing the finger at tobacco companies that have started manufacturing and distributing their own lines of vape products.
While the authorities are obligated to protect the public, classifying e-cigs as “just as bad” as conventional cigarettes seems to be misleading in that some experts have estimated that e-cigs are up to ninety percent less dangerous than tobacco cigarettes, producing only 1% of the free radicals found in tobacco smoke.
Furthermore, while cigarette smoking has been repeatedly implicated as the cause of a number of chronic illnesses, the medical community is yet to cite any issues from long-term e-cig usage, although, to be fair, the vape industry is much newer than the tobacco industry.
Will the Negative Publicity Actually Be Good for the Vaping Industry?
The move to put e-cigs in the same category as tobacco cigarettes has become a popular trend amongst anti-vaping critics, but if e-cig sales statistics are any indication, it seems most consumers aren’t buying that idea.
Many vaping companies and proponents are concerned that throwing e-cigs in the barrel with tobacco cigarettes will make it easier for regulators to impose stiff vaping taxes, similar to the steep taxes that tobacco companies have to pay. Since many e-cig manufacturers and e-liquid makers are smaller startup companies, some are worried that they won’t be able to compete if such taxes are imposed.
There’s an old saying in PR that goes “any publicity is good publicity.” Despite the recent ad campaigns from US authorities, vaping is as strong a trend as ever and is expected to continue rising in popularity in the coming years.
In fact, many analysts believe that the new ads will only serve to draw more attention to e-cigs, resulting in a higher awareness about vaping and, subsequently, more revenue for the vaping industry overall. This belief is based on previous research, which has shown that the more e-cigs are bashed in the media, the more popular they become.