WASHINGTON, Nov. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than eight of 10 youth and young adults saw e-cigarette advertising in 2015, according to a new report released today by Truth Initiative. The study, Vaporized: Youth and Young Adult Exposure to E-Cigarette Marketing, also found that e-cigarette advertising expenditures increased significantly by 52 percent from 2013-2014, reaching $115.3 million in 2014.
"It's no accident that spending on e-cigarette marketing has increased by more than 50 percent and that a majority of youth have seen these ads," said Robin Koval, CEO and President of Truth Initiative. "Advertising, particularly television, is extremely expensive and no advertiser would waste money against a target that is outside their intended audience. These new data provide further evidence that the Food and Drug Administration must restrict e-cigarette marketing to youth."
Television was the second biggest source of e-cigarette advertising with approximately 50 percent of youth reporting seeing an ad, suggesting advertisers may be purposefully reaching this audience. Traditional cigarette advertising has not been permitted on television since 1971.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently regulates cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. The agency also has the ability to regulate additional tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, and appears to be close to asserting jurisdiction over them through what is known as the deeming rule. Until then, e-cigarettes are not subject to any federal standards for quality or safety and there are no marketing restrictions. Earlier this year, Truth Initiative urged the FDA to extend youth marketing restrictions that apply to traditional cigarettes to cover e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems via the pending regulations.
Vaporized key findings include:
E-cigarette advertising awareness
- Eighty-two percent of 12-17 year olds and 88 percent of 18-21 year olds reported having seen an e-cigarette ad in 2015.
- Awareness of e-cigarette advertisements remains highest in retail establishments (convenience stores, supermarkets, or gas stations), followed by on television and online.
- The top 10 e-cigarette brands with the highest advertising expenditure in 2013 and 2014 account for 98 percent of total category spend.
- Five brands (blu, MarkTen, NJOY, Vuse and Fin) account for 95 percent of total category spend. The three brands with highest advertising expenditure in 2014 — MarkTen, blu, and Vuse — are all owned by Big Tobacco companies.
- The top 10 brands spent $75.7 million in 2013 and $115.3 million in 2014. Magazines and cable TV accounted for the vast majority of dollars spent in both years.
- The brand with the highest 2014 spending – MarkTen – increased its spending from $431,000 in 2013 to $54 million in 2014. MarkTen far outspent any other brand in 2014. The remaining top spending brands were blu, which spent $39 million, and Vuse, which spent $9.6 million. With the exception of MarkTen, Vuse and Tryst, all brands decreased spending from 2013 to 2014.
- In 2014, MarkTen and blu accounted for nearly all of the $83 million in magazine expenditures. blu, Vuse, and NJOY accounted for nearly all of the $22 million in cable television expenditures.
Additional research conducted by the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative looked at the impact on young adults of exposure to e-cigarette advertisements. The study published in the journal Nicotine & Tobacco Research assessed more than 4200 young adults (ages 18-34) and the impact of random assignment to exposure to e-cigarette advertisements on perceptions, intentions, and subsequent use. Researchers found that approximately six percent of young adults who had never before tried an e-cigarette had done so at six-month follow-up, and e-cigarette ad exposure was associated with a greater likelihood of e-cigarette trial in never users of cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
This research is set against a backdrop of increasing youth e-cigarette use. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been large increases in e-cigarette use among youth from 2011 to 2014, and a Monitoring the Future survey funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse reported in 2014 that past 30-day e-cigarette use was higher for 8th, 10th and 12th graders than past 30-day cigarette use.
About Truth Initiative
Truth Initiative is a national public health organization that is inspiring tobacco-free lives and building a culture where all youth and young adults reject tobacco. The truth about tobacco and the tobacco industry are at the heart of our proven-effective and nationally recognized truth® public education campaign, our rigorous and scientific research and policy studies, and our innovative community and youth engagement programs supporting populations at high risk of using tobacco. The Washington D.C.-based organization, formerly known as Legacy, was established and funded through the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement between attorneys general from 46 states, five U.S. territories and the tobacco industry. To learn more about our work speaking, seeking and spreading the truth about tobacco, visit truthinitiative.org.
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SOURCE Truth Initiative