America's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has long been waging a public relations war against Big Tobacco. But now, for the first time ever, it's throwing punches at ecigarettes too.
On March 30, the organisation launched a new ad campaign, which the vaping community responded to with a swift rebuke.
One ad tells the story of Kristy, who says she picked up the vape pen to help her quit cigarettes. She merely began smoking both, she says -- and then one day, her lung collapsed, and she found out she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
In the words of The American Vaping Association, this is "patently dishonest" for its implication that vaping is associated with lung disease, as it told Arizona's ABC15. Allegedly, Kristy had returned to her cigarette-only regimen before her lung collapsed.
The CDC insists that it wasn't trying to point any fingers directly at ecigarettes, but rather, that it was warning against the combined usage of ecigarettes and combustible cigarettes -- something 75% of adult vapers do, according to a study it referenced.
The California Department of Public Health is waging a parallel campaign too, with ads that suggest ecigarettes are being intentionally marketed to kids and more. Called "Still Blowing Smoke," the series of advertisements associates ecigarette marketing tactics with those of regular cigarettes, ending with the admonishment that "there's a lot the ecigarette industry isn't telling us about vaping."
For what it's worth, it doesn't appear as though these campaigns are slowing the industry down -- yet.
The Huffington Post recently pointed out that the market is still very much on the ascent, with VapeWorld.com CEO Aaron LoCascio attesting to the news source that he's "never experience[d] more growth than we are right now. Every single year, we're talking double to triple-digit growth every year consistently."