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Marketing Electronic Cigarettes: What You Should Know

Marketing Electronic Cigarettes: What You Should Know

Every organization needs to market its product and services to its customers. This is the only way it will be able to attract customers and remain relevant in an industry that is very competitive. However, marketing of various products, especially those considered harmful by health regulatory bodies, have to adhere to a controlled marketing program. One of the highly regulated areas is the marketing of e-cigarettes.

What are Electronic Cigarettes?

Electronic cigarettes are formed when a special liquid is heated that individuals inhale. They contain nicotine like any other type of cigarette that individuals use, but they do not release any smoke because combustion is not involved. People generally have a positive perception of e-cigarettes because of the pleasant smells and the health benefits compared to smoking. With that said, electronic cigarettes contain the addictive stimulant nicotine, just like traditional cigarettes.

Marketing Electronic Cigarettes

Marketing electronic cigarettes and the e-juice they use is one of the most controlled marketing programs in the United States, similar to traditional tobacco products and alcohol. Major retailers, websites specializing in ejuice deals and products, and even local convenience stores have to adhere to the rules and regulations involving the marketing of these products. Here are some of the regulations that the government has formulated and implemented to prevent the use of these products by underage people.

No Marketing to Minors

One the policies restrict organizations that they should not market electronic cigars to minors. For a longer period, websites had been selling electronic cigars. To appeal to the youths, some e-cig marketing companies used to promote various social events and music festivals. Although the main theme of these events is to market and sell electronic cigarettes, the companies promised special appearance from celebrities and other prominent personalities, which is against rules and regulations.

No Marketing to Minors Part II

Vaping companies had incorporated a strategic policy of marketing electronic cigarettes by asking high school students to write essays on the health benefits of vaping. The winning student could get a scholarship of a minimum $250 and a maximum of $5,000. Although the companies maintained that they only market their products to adults, asking young individuals to write articles on the product is an indirect marketing strategy. As a marketer, you have to avoid this strategy.

Avoid Creating Social Media Buzz

E-cigarette manufacturing companies such as JUUL have spent a considerable amount of money trying to market vaping products through social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The company has heavily relied on social media to sell its products to young individuals.

The government and other regulatory bodies have significantly controlled social media marketing of these products. JUUL has since become target of the United States government, with its headquarters being raided by the FDA in September of 2018. Lessons from JUUL’s marketing mistakes should be incorporated by other entities, and they should not market their vaping products through social platforms.

Despite these restrictions, there is still plenty of room for e-cig and e-juice manufacturers to market their products. For instance, the packaging laws are virtually nonexistent, enabling companies to utilize a wide variety of alluring graphic designs and colors when choosing how to package their vape products. There’s also the potential for utilizing emotional marketing tactics via flavors and smells to convince people to make the switch from smoking to vaping.

The marketing and advertising for certain products are limited by regulations due to potential health risks and addictive properties. Despite being healthier than smoking, e-cigarettes are no different. With that said, marketers can still access several tricks of the trade to successfully – and legally – spread brand awareness about vape products.


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by Harvey Carr // Harvey Carr is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.