You might not know what ‘vaping’ means. Maybe I am showing my naivety here, but I have to say, until this time last week, I didn’t. Despite perhaps not knowing it, we have most likely all seen people ‘vaping’ (or if you still don’t know, using an e-cigarette). Up until now this would have most likely been at the pub or in a bar. A glance across the room prompting the thought “I can’t believe they are smoking inside”, quickly followed by, “oh yes, it is an e-cigarette” has become commonplace. However, despite being available for about 10 years, it is only now that people vaping and the device itself can be shown in adverts.
Advertising cigarettes has always been a controversial issue. e-Cigarettes bring a new debate. Some people think e-cigarettes should be in the same category as conventional cigarettes and not advertised at all. But, are we advertising a healthier alternative to smoking? Or, are we encouraging people to start a new bad habit?
The first advert to be aired is for Kik e-cigarettes. It is a far cry from the original cigarette adverts for brands such as Lucky Strike, or even e-cigarette adverts such as for VIP’s. It is fair to say, though produced decades apart both use the same tactic, sexualising smoking.
The Kik advert shows a group of, apparently middle-class friends, approximately in their forties, enjoying a meal together. They are shown vaping both outside and inside while at the dining table.
I don’t believe this will encourage young people to take up smoking because it is sexualising it. It does seem to say smoking e-cigarettes is socially acceptable, I don’t believe we have decided as a society whether it is though? One thing I think we can be sure of though, more people will know what vaping means.