Marketing Addiction.

The development of e-cigarettes was a good thing. It provided an opportunity for those addicted to nicotine and the act of smoking to replace tobacco cigarettes with something less harmful…not only less harmful to themselves, but everyone around them.

Of course, some greedy corporations can’t settle for a good thing. They have to find ways to turn a positive into a negative and, in the process, make millions.

Not content to sell e-cigarettes as a replacement for tobacco, companies like Lorillard have decided to create a whole new generation of buyers by marketing e-cigarettes in a variety of candy flavors and using celebrities to make their products seem cutting-edge “cool.” It’s a strategy right out of the playbook of tobacco cigarette brands from the fifties through the eighties. (Remember Joe Camel?) And, though tobacco companies have been forced to diversify, they have continued the same marketing strategies in Asia and other countries that lack regulations.

Unfortunately, the tobacco and e-cigarette industries are not alone. It’s well-known that the largest brewers in the US aim their advertising at males aged 30 and younger… the younger the better. The idea is that, if brewers can capture the attention of males who are younger than drinking age, those males will have already established brand preferences by the time they’re old enough to buy beer.  That explains the preponderance of TV commercials with girls in bikinis and adolescent humor.

Such tactics, while not illegal, are certainly unethical. But given the rampant greed of corporations, they’re unlikely to change.