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Same old song and dance? Advertising ethics and the e-cigarette November 29, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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The use of e-cigarettes is on the rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control. An estimated 4 million Americans now use e-cigarettes, and about 10 percent of high school students in 2012 reported they had tried them. The rise of e-cigarettes, which are supposed to help smokers quite the real thing, poses an interesting problem for regulators. While cigarettes have been banned from television ads since the 1970s, e-cigarettes can be advertised without many restrictions. The distinction between the products is that e-cigarettes generate vapor rather than tobacco smoke, and the Food and Drug Administration has not yet ruled whether they can be sold or marketed to minors.

For examples of e-cigarette ads, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What was the legal rationale for banning certain kinds of cigarette marketing? Should that rationale apply to e-cigarettes?

2.  If e-cigarette marketing should be regulated, what kind of regulations should it face?

3.  Is there anything ethically wrong with e-cigarette marketing in general?

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