Reconsidering the Legality of Cigarette Smoking Advertisements on Television Public Health and the Law

Lincoln Professor of Health Law and Ethics and Director of the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University (ASU). Robert Wood Johnson Visiting Attorney and Fellow with the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, ASU. Fellow with the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, ASU. Research Associate with the Public Health Law and Policy Program at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, ASU. Member of the Public Health Law and Policy Cluster Group and J.D. Candidate at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, ASU.
The Journal of Law Medicine & Ethics (Impact Factor: 1.1). 03/2013; 41(1):369-373. DOI: 10.1111/jlme.12026
Source: PubMed


Television advertisements depicting the use of electronic cigarettes have recently exposed minors to images of smoking behaviors. While these advertisements are currently legal, existing laws should be interpreted or expanded to ban the commercial depiction of smoking behaviors with any product that resembles a cigarette to shield minors from potentially influential advertising.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are battery-powered nicotine delivery devices that have become popular among smokers. We conducted an experiment to understand adult smokers’ responses to e-cigarette advertisements and investigate the impact of ads’ arguments and imagery. Methods A US national sample of smokers who had never tried e-cigarettes (n=3253) participated in a between-subjects experiment. Smokers viewed an online advertisement promoting e-cigarettes using one of three comparison types (emphasising similarity to regular cigarettes, differences or neither) with one of three images, for nine conditions total. Smokers then indicated their interest in trying e-cigarettes. Results Ads that emphasised differences between e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes elicited more interest than ads without comparisons (p<0.01), primarily due to claims about e-cigarettes’ lower cost, greater healthfulness and utility for smoking cessation. However, ads that emphasised the similarities of the products did not differ from ads without comparisons. Ads showing a person using an e-cigarette created more interest than ads showing a person without an e-cigarette (p<0.01). Conclusions Interest in trying e-cigarettes was highest after viewing ads with messages about differences between regular and electronic cigarettes and ads showing product use. If e-cigarettes prove to be harmful or ineffective cessation devices, regulators might restrict images of e-cigarette use in advertising, and public health messages should not emphasise differences between regular and electronic cigarettes. To inform additional regulations, future research should seek to identify what advertising messages and features appeal to youth.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Tobacco Control
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: In the United States, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are currently unregulated, extensively marketed, and experiencing a rapid increase in use. The purpose of this study was to examine the opinions of U.S. adults about e-cigarette use in smoke-free public areas. Methods: Data were obtained from the online HealthStyle survey administered to a probability sample of a nationally representative online panel. The study included 4,043U.S. adults, aged 18 years or older who responded to this question, "Do you think e-cigarette should be allowed to be used in public areas where tobacco smoking is prohibited?" Multinomial logistic regression analyses were used to examine opinions on e-cigarette use in smoke-free areas by sex, age, race/ethnicity, household income, education, census region, and cigarette smoking status and e-cigarette awareness and ever use. Results: Overall, about 40% of adults were uncertain whether e-cigarettes should be allowed in smoke-free areas, 37% opposed, while 23% favored their use in smoke-free public places. Multinomial logistic regression analyses showed that adults who were aware, ever used e-cigarettes, and current cigarette smokers were more likely to express an "in favor" opinion than adults who expressed an uncertain opinion (don't know). Conclusion: Over 75% of U.S. adults reported uncertainty or disapproval of the use of e-cigarettes in smoke-free areas. Current cigarette smokers, adults aware or have ever used e-cigarettes were more supportive to exempting e-cigarettes from smoking restrictions. With impending regulation and the changing e-cigarette landscape, continued monitoring and research on public opinions about e-cigarette use in smoke-free places are needed.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Nicotine & Tobacco Research