The Advertising and Habit of E-Cigarettes

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AAEA Member Research on the Sharp Rise of Non-Cigarette Tobacco Use

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“We found e-cigarettes are much more habitual than all other tobacco products."

Camel Joe is extinct. The Marlboro Man rode into the sunset. NASCAR no longer has the “Winston Cup.” Tobacco advertising has completely changed due to strict industry regulations regarding electronic media.

There are no such restrictions on the booming electronic cigarette industry. Not only can e-cigarette makers freely advertise, they can also offer flavored products; something, with the exception of Menthol, is forbidden in cigarettes.

Are these differences dangerous and leading to a culture where people are using e-cigarettes as an alternative to the real thing? This is part of new research in “Advertising, Habit Formation, and U.S. Tobacco Product Demand” led by Yuqing Zheng from the University of Kentucky.

“We found e-cigarettes are much more habitual than all other tobacco products,” Zheng said. “There are few bans on where you can smoke e-cigarettes so you can pretty much use them throughout the day.”

This paper, which appears in the new issue of the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, takes an in-depth look at how advertising for e-cigarettes is impacting two industries and the mindset of consumers. To access this paper, or to schedule an interview with the author, please contact Jay Saunders in the AAEA Business Office.

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Jay Saunders
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