E-cigarette Ads Increase People’s Desire to Smoke

E-cigarettes have become quite popular amongst those in the recovery community. The devices have helped some quit and helped others cut back on traditional cigarette use. As with all new products with the potential for addiction, little research is available regarding the health consequences and even less regulations to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teenagers.

A new study has found that viewing advertisements for e-cigarettes can increase people’s desire to smoke traditional cigarettes, TIME reports.

The ironic finding indicated that daily smokers who view e-cigarette advertisements had a greater desire to smoke a regular cigarette, and a greater chance of actually smoking traditional tobacco products. The researchers observed the desire to smoke among:

  • 301 Daily Smokers
  • 272 Intermittent Smokers
  • 311 Former Smokers

The researchers asked the study participants to watch three e-cigarette commercials, according to the article. Daily smokers had a greater desire to smoke, intermittent smokers showed no significant changes, and former smokers were more likely to report decreased intention to stay smoke-free.

While most would argue that e-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco products, the need for more research on this method of nicotine consumption is greatly needed. Perhaps the biggest complaint regarding the devices is the fact that many of the e-juices appeal to younger markets with their fruit-like descriptions.

“The jury is still out on the efficacy of e-cigarettes to reduce tobacco use and tobacco smoking,” says study author and communication professor Joseph N. Cappella. “If it turns out to be the case that e-cigarettes are a good vehicle for reducing tobacco addiction, then we do not want to stand in the way of advertising…but it doesn’t mean we couldn’t carry out that advertising without the vaping cues in order to not have these deleterious consequences.”

The findings were published in the journal Health Communication.

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