Wednesday, January 13, 2016

CDC Report: Teen Exposure to E-cigarette Advertising

e-cigarette advertisingWe’ve not been shy of our criticism of America’s Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the past, and a report released by the CDC has got our ire once again.

A new report released by the CDC suggests that “about 7 in 10 teens are exposed to e-cigarette advertising on TV, in print, online and at retail outlets,” spurring them to communicate their concern about youth exposure to e-cigarette advertising.

On Medical News Today, Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explains, “The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes.”

He adds, “Kids should not be using e-cigarettes and yet 2/3 of kids in this country are seeing e-cigarette ads.”

The problem with the study

There is one problem with the new study – the CDC has failed to find a direct link between e-cigarette advertising and usage.

Dr. Frieden has also called on everyone to agree that children should not use e-cigarettes. We are pretty sure that everyone was already in agreement with children should not use them, nor traditional cigarettes, drink or do drugs. Simply making this statement implies that e-cigarettes are being pushed on children – which they aren’t.

The media is picking up the rhetoric

Other major media outlets are also buying into the rhetoric. This quote from CNBC is a perfect example:

“E-cigarette makers are pouring tens of millions of dollars into advertising their wares—and teenagers are getting the message loud and clear, federal health officials reported Tuesday.”

“As advertising skyrockets, so do the number of teens seeing it…”

Obviously, e-cigarette makers are investing in advertising – the industry is growing, and advertising to their customers (adults!) is a normal business practice. And, yes, teens will see some of these ads – just like they will see ads for virtually every other product in the world – alcohol, tobacco, porn, guns, you name it. It’s impossible for them not to see the ads.

Why can’t the CDC find a link?

Perhaps there isn’t one. But here is how they explain their lack of connection:

“Frieden said the tactics are effective, and include online ‘viral’ marketing that cannot even be measured.” Why can’t it be measured? E-cigarette companies and other online advertisers have no issue measuring their online marketing campaigns.

Like we said before, it’s time for the CDC to stop spinning lies and start telling the truth.

Read more about the CDC by reading, CDC – please tell the truth!

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