Gone are the days when tobacco advertising, specifically, cigarette advertising was common at sporting events. Magazines and newspapers used to show endorsements by athletes for their favorite cigarette brand. The vaping industry has now taken a page out of the tobacco playbook. This is not surprising since most of the big tobacco companies are heavily invested in what are now called “ENDS” or electronic nicotine delivery systems. This name clearly defines what a vaping device is designed to do, namely, deliver nicotine, with all its addictive qualities, to the user. Even more importantly, the target of the advertising is a younger and more impressionable group, our children.
Initially, ENDS producers said that they were targeting long term smokers in order to give them a less harmful method of getting inhaled nicotine. However, the branding and flavors of ENDS clearly are not directed at the 40-pack year smoker but children and younger people. We know that along with chemical products that overlap with tobacco ENDS products also have their own unique toxicities
The latest attempt to get the attention of the public is the sponsorship of sporting events including stadiums and sports teams. The concern I have is that this approach should not be allowed to happen in the US. The offer of money and sponsorship for schools and sporting events is not an act of contrition by vaping companies but rather a further attempt to advertise and legitimize their products