Although e-cigarettes are known to be healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products, it has been found that increased e-cigarette marketing is leading to increased urge among smokers to smoke traditional cigarettes. The new study has been carried out by a research team from Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. It has revealed that former and current smokers may experience an increased craving to smoke conventional cigarettes after watching vaping commercials.
311 former smokers, 272 intermittent smokers and 301 daily smokers participated in the study. All of them were made to watch 3 e-cigarette commercials. There were images of vaping in some of them while others did not show vaping. After viewing the commercials, the participants were asked to express if they felt any urge to smoke. It was found that daily smokers felt a greater urge to smoke traditional cigarettes after watching the vaping commercial. Researchers also noted a higher tendency of smoking traditional cigarettes among daily smokers, during the study.
No significant urge was reported by intermittent smokers whereas among former smokers the intention to abstain from smoking decreased. 22 percent of the participants who didn’t watch the vaping commercials were found to be smoking a cigarette during the study. However, 35 percent of those who saw the vaping commercials were found to be smoking during the study. The study thus reveals that ads can have a great impact on the smoking behavior.
The researchers stated “Given the sophistication of cigarette marketing in the past and the exponential increase in advertising dollars allotted to e-cigarette promotion in the past year, it should be expected that advertisements for these products created by big tobacco companies will maximize smoking cues in their advertisements, and if not regulated, individuals will be exposed to much more e-cigarette advertising on a daily basis.”