A recent study examining the appeal of e-cigarette ads to young people has concluded that while the ads for flavored e-cigarettes seem to attract the interest of kids, they don’t increase the overall appeal of smoking.
A British study examined the reactions of 600 children to advertising featuring candy flavored e-cigarettes, non flavored e-cigarettes, and no advertising. The children ranged in age from 11-16 years, and were assigned randomly to one of the three groups. They were then asked questions about smoking e-cigarettes, perceived harm, and smoking in general. The children who saw the ads for the candy flavored e-cigarettes showed a greater interest in smoking than the other two groups.
Experts have concerns about the marketing of e-cigarettes in candy flavors appealing to children’s desire for sweets.
Flavoring other than menthol is banned in traditional cigarettes. However, according to Cliff Douglas, director of the American Cancer Society Tobacco Control Center, flavors used for e-cigarettes include Sweet Tarts, Gummi Bears, Kool-Aid, and Hawaiian Punch. “It doesn’t get much more blatant,” Douglas said. “It’s quite clearly targeted at kids.”