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Reconsidering the Legality of Cigarette Smoking Advertisements on Television Public Health and the Law

Public Health and the Law Column

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2021

Extract

Amid the action of the 2013 Super Bowl aired the usual array of high-priced advertisements. Most ads were original. Some were unusual. One regional ad, however, seemed distantly familiar. The 30-second commercial promoted the NJOY King electronic (or e-) cigarette1 to at least 10 million viewers in several major markets. It featured an attractive male model taking a drag from what looks like (and NJOY calls) a cigarette. He then slowly blows smoke to the tune of Foreigner’s “Feels Like the First Time.” Of course, the “smoke” does not come from burning tobacco. Rather, it is the water vapor produced by an e-cigarette as part of its nicotine delivery process. This, however, was not evident from the imagery. For those watching the broadcast, including thousands of minors, NJOY’s advertisement depicted what tobacco companies have not portrayed on television for decades: a person engaged in smoking behavior.

Type
JLME Column
Copyright
Copyright © American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics 2013

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