Super Bowl Commercial Featuring Electronic Cigarettes Causes Controversy
The Super Bowl is the mother of all sport venues. It attracts more attention and more viewers than any other sport with the exception of the World Cup.
As such, it begs advertisers (with tongue out and paws up) to come one and all with wallets open. After all, what other spectacle could attract so many viewers at one time that are completely ready and willing to be marketed to?
Marketing and the Super Bowl go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly. Those who watch the Super Bowl have not only come to accept it, they’ve actually gotten to the point where they look forward to it. In fact, most news channels will review which Super Bowl commercials were hits and which ones were misses.
With this in mind, it’s a no-brainer that a vapor cigarette company such as NJoy would want to take advantage of the enormous amount of consumers that are watching the Super Bowl. After all, that’s what it’s about…. reaching people and letting them know there are other less harmful alternatives out there to traditional tobacco cigarette smoking. Well, to be clear, the FDA does not recognize e-cigs as a risk reducer. But I digress.
So, that’s what NJoy did. They ponied up the cash to air an electronic cigarette commercial in some local markets and competed with the “big dogs” like Doritos, Chrysler, KIA, E-Trade and many others.
The controversy that developed over the commercial seems to be over the fact that a “smoking” advertisement has not been aired in over 4 decades and many feel this was inappropriate and crossed the boundaries of the intent of the laws put in place. The simple fact is though, that the restriction on cigarette ads applies only to “cut, cured and rolled tobacco” products.
Some health groups are claiming it sends a “dangerous message”. Bill Pfiefer of the local Southwest Chapter of the American Lung Association was quoted as saying, “We are trying to encourage people to quit smoking, and there is no scientific evidence that these products help people kick their habit.”
But is that the case? Or is it just negative propaganda that takes advantage of the lack of knowledge many people have about electronic cigarette products? Is it really about “quitting smoking”? Won’t destroying the image of ecigarettes just send smokers back to the same old habit? These are just some of the questions that must be answered, and they must be answered honestly in the light of what we do know.
There have been numerous medical doctors that have come out with their own studies and opinions. For instance… just recently, there was a medical symposium where Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos gave a compelling speech on the effects of ecigarettes on myocardial function. It was given to the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, Germany and recorded on August 25th, 2012.
The campaign against marketing tobacco products in print or on tv was a successful one. Now, with the advent of a potentially less harmful alternative such as electronic cigarettes, it’s going to be an uphill battle to regain the right to get that message out there.
Smokers who just cannot seem to quit smoking combustible tobacco cigarettes… well their lives may just hang in the balance. This is one hill we must climb. Education is the key.