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Electronic cigarette marketers manipulate antitobacco advertisements to promote vaping


A device commonly used by public health advocates is the alteration of cigarette advertisements to convey an antismoking message.1 ,2 Well-known examples include ‘Joe Chemo’ for Joe Camel and ‘Fool’ for Kool.3 Our group has assembled an online collection of some 162 cigarette advertising ‘knock offs’ (unauthorised modifications) encompassing 35 brands created by enterprising antitobacco advocates.4

Recently, a new genre of adapted advertisements has appeared in which the electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) industry or its supporters have modified antismoking advertisements for the purposes of promoting vaping. These advertisements, which were originally intended to communicate the adverse health consequences of smoking, were altered to promote the supposed healthfulness of e-cigarettes. We have identified 12 educational advertisements that were altered either by e-cigarette brands or vaping advocacy groups.

Australian Government campaign: Stop Smoking Start Repairing

Four advertisements in our sample modify the Australian Government’s “Stop Smoking Start Repairing” advertisements to read “Stop Smoking Start Vaping” (figure 1). The original antismoking campaign was intended to raise awareness of the health benefits of quitting traditional cigarettes, a promotional tactic also widely used by e-cigarette brands.

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