Electronic cigarettes, better known as e-cigarettes, have grown into
a billion-dollar industryin the past year. While this is small compared to the
$35 billion in profitthe leading tobacco companies made in 2010, the e-cigarette industry has already doubled in worth from 2012.
This has inspired lawmakers across the country to regulate e-cigarette use at the state level, as they wait for the FDA to make a decision regarding where smokers can use the odorless nicotine vaporizers, and whether or not their advertising will be limited.
The FDA has withheld an investigation into the matter, claiming not enough is known about the health risks of the products. In the meantime, advertisers are turning to long-banned tobacco marketing tactics to push tobacco-free e-cigarettes.
A group of Democratic congressmen in the national Committee on Energy and Commerce sent a letter to FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg on Monday. Reps. Henry Waxman (Calif.), Diana DeGette (Co.), and Frank Pallone, Jr. (N.J.) posted an online presentation to accompany their letter.
Some e-cigarette ads from the past couple of years are almost exact copies of ads from the 1960s, 50s, and even the 30s. There are cool tough guys, sexy women, and even cartoons.
(1958 v. 2013) Some e-cigarette ads are tapping into the cool, rugged masculinity that became famously linked with cigarettes.
(1951 v. 2012) Blu Cigs' celebrity spokesperson Stephen Dorff may not be a household name, but actors have long been banned from endorsing tobacco.
(1933 v. 2012) E-cigarette ads can target the free-flowing disposable income of the crucial nightlife crowd.
(1957 v. 2013) E-cigarette manufacturers highlight the innovation behind their products in much the same way tobacco companies launched new cigarettes.
(1959 v. 2013) The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has held the position that fruit flavored tobacco products target minors and new smokers not accustomed to the taste of tobacco.
In 2010, the FDA prohibited tobacco from sports advertising. E-cigarette brands like Green Smoke have made their way into NASCAR.
Camel killed off Joe Camel in 1997 when tobacco mascots became taboo, but some e-cigarette brands have revived the technique.
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