The Truth Initiative is an American not-for-profit that makes its primary aim to essentially rid the world of tobacco consumption. In particular, the organisation focuses on youth and young adults to help ensure future generations don’t pick up smoking habits
The Truth Initiative also keep an eye on vaping culture and e-cigarettes. Just recently, they announced the results of a study that shows 82 per cent of 12 – 17 year olds have seen an e-cig advertisement during 2015.
Perhaps not surprisingly, these figures come at a time when the amount of investment put into e-cigarette advertising has gone through the roof, jumping up by 52 per cent from 2013 to reach US$115.3 million in 2014, according to the group.
While traditional, combustible cigarettes have been banned from television advertising since 1971, as much as half of those youths who reported seeing ads for e-cigarettes said they viewed them on tv. Right now, there is no regulation surrounding e-cigarette advertising in the US, however, this may soon change if and when proposed laws from the Food and Drug Association come in to play.
E-cigarettes by no means should be lumped into the same deadly category as combustible cigarettes, but that said, it seems only reasonable that marketing for these products should never be aimed at youths – especially those as young as 12. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of use of e-cigarettes in middle and high-schoolers in the US has tripled within the space of a year, increasing from roughly 660,000 to 2 million students between 2013 and 2014.
Despite them being significantly less damaging than traditional cigarettes, there’s no reason why companies should be targeting such a young age bracket.