The maker of the “blu” brand of electronic cigarette is hoping smokers will respond to a particularly aggressive ad campaign that exploits their frustration and anger to sell more of their product. The ad’s headline that says, “Dear Smoking Ban.” Beneath the headline is a photo of an angry older, middle-aged woman flipping her middle finger at the viewer. The ad text links smoking to freedom, a psychological construct long used by the tobacco industry to counteract the understanding that nicotine causes a powerful addiction that robs smokers of control over their tobacco use. The ad text says, “Take back your freedom to smoke anywhere with blu electronic cigarettes. blu produces no smoke and no ash, only vapor, making it the smarter alternative to regular cigarettes. It’s the most satisfying way to tell the smoking bans to kiss off. Okay, maybe the second most satisfying way.” Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, but since they don’t actually burn tobacco, they don’t contain as much of the hazardous byproducts of burned tobacco.
I want to complement Lorillard (the parent company of Blu Cigarettes) for very accurately portraying the attitude and arrogance of their customers. Who hasn’t had a belligerent smoker deliberately blow smoke in their face? As this ad clearly demonstrates the tobacco companies themselves deliberately promote such behavior. But would anyone expect less from an industry that knowingly and deliberately kills over half a million people every year in the United States alone – all for the sole purpose of financial gain.
There should be a ban on advertising. I’m a vaper and advertising only gives ammunition to the prohibitionists.