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Flavored E-Cigarettes Being Marketed For Younger Population In China

E-cigarettes are the lesser of two evils when compared to its smoking brother– tobacco cigarette. For decades, we push people to quit and to help them control their addiction and then e-cigs were created to asset with that. But in China, it’s the other way around as people use e-cigs to actually lure in children to the habit of smoking.

The situation is worsening as China doesn’t have law in regulating ecigarettes.

Manufacturers are starting to present e-cigs to the younger population as a trend called “vaping”. They have a new target market with women, who has only 3% of China’s smoking population and it seems like they’re eyeing children as well.

China is currently the largest producer and consumer of tobacco. More than half of their men population smoke, which since then, started early in life. The countries average age for people who starts smoking is under 11 years old.

“Some campaigners worry that e-cigarettes are gaining popularity in China before awareness of tobacco’s dangers has become widespread,” reads the report.

Different flavors has been created to cater to the youngsters for a cheap cost of 15-20 Yuan or US $2.5 to 3 in China while more than 8,000 flavors are being marketed in Hong Kong for the same target market.

The group of concerned netizens pushes for a total ban of the product.

Even then, the United States had a heated argument for flavored e-cigs as well “Anyone who has only tried flavored e-cigs and then tries a real cigarette would likely be appalled at how harsh the smoke is and how bad it tastes,” a concerned netizen said while other said that “candy flavored e-cigs are designed to addict a new generation to nicotine.”

Smoking is highly associated to emphysema, lung cancer, prostate cancer, infertility, heart conditions, liver and renal diseases, gangrene and even more health problems.

Study finds e-cigarette marketing linked to teen e-cigarette use

Exposure to e-cigarette marketing messages is significantly associated with e-cigarette use among middle school and high school students, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The study will be published in the June print edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Using data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey, researchers found that youth were exposed to e-cigarette marketing messages through many channels: retail settings, internet, print, television and movies. Of the 22,007 middle and high school students who were surveyed, 20 percent had tried e-cigarettes before and 9 percent were current users.

Students who had tried e-cigarettes before were 16 percent more likely to have encountered an e-cigarette marketing message in print, retail settings, internet, television or movies compared to non-users. Further, current users of e-cigarettes were 22 percent more likely to have encountered one marketing message compared to non-users.

With each additional exposure to another channel of e-cigarette marketing, students’ odds of using e-cigarettes grew exponentially.

Half of the students reported seeing e-cigarette marketing messages in retail settings, making it the most common place they appeared, followed by messages on the internet at 40 percent.

“You go to a convenience store and the entire wall behind the cashier is tobacco advertising. We’re seeing e-cigarettes are following that trend. The internet and social media are also a concern because e-cigarette companies have a big presence online,” said Dale Mantey, M.P.A., lead author and predoctoral fellow at the Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living at UTHealth School of Public Health in Austin.

According to the paper, spending for e-cigarette marketing tripled from 2011 to 2012 from $6.4 million to $18.3 million and expenditures through the second quarter of 2013 outpaced all of 2012. Mantey said this reveals a trend that is not likely to change.

“E-cigarette companies are following what cigarette companies did. There are no restrictions on the messaging they can use, and health warnings do not appear on e-cigarettes like they do on cigarette packages. Flavored e-cigarettes are widely available and appeal to youth,” said Maria Cooper, Ph.D., co-author and postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Healthy Living.

The authors are members of the Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science on Youth & Young Adults (Texas TCORS), a center created to develop research that can guide future decisions on tobacco regulations at the national level. The researchers are examining how marketing messages from e-cigarette companies affect youth in Texas over several years. They also have plans to study the role that e-cigarette marketing plays on college campuses.

“While the current study is unable to definitively say e-cigarette marketing causes e-cigarette use, since data on exposure to advertising and e-cigarette use were collected at the same time, the longitudinal studies underway at the Texas TCORS will be equipped to answer such questions,” said Mantey.

Our tobacco laws just changed – here’s everything you need to know

Major changes to tobacco laws have come into force today, May 20.

One of the most high-profile changes comes in the form of new standardised packaging – which will see all cigarette cartons be the same drab green colour.

At the same time, we are now no longer able to get 10-packs of cigarettes (sorry social smokers) – and we can start saying goodbye to menthol smokes.

There’s a lot to take in with the new laws, so we’ve put it all together for you.

Wait, what is this new law?

It is officially known as the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, which is part of the EU’s Tobacco Products Directive (or TPD for short).

Basically it’s an overhaul of our laws around the sale, advertising and packaging of tobacco products, such as cigarettes and vapes.

What’s happening to cigarette packaging?

The introduction of standardised, plain packaging is a major success for smoking health campaigners.

Under the new law, all cigarette boxes will be one uniform colour – a dull green – and will be the exact same size and shape.

New cigarette packaging laws are coming into force today, which means all boxes will have to be the same olive green colour, with the same font, colour, size, case and text appearance. Dr Nick Hopkinson, spokesperson for the British Lung Foundation, says evidence shows plain packaging works to cut smoking

All of the fonts will now be a standardised too, as will the colour, size, case and alignment of any text.

And logos will be strictly prohibited (a fact that caused particular contention with four tobacco giants).

They will also have much larger health warnings which, with a graphic picture and text, will take up 65 per cent of the front and the back of the boxes.

Campaigners from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) and Cancer Research have hailed the packaging change as a victory, mainly because of… well, this.

Shops now have a year to get rid of the boxes they still have, before they’re totally replaced in May 2017.

I usually smoke menthols, they’re okay right?

Nope – from today menthols are going to be phased out, ready for a total ban in May 2020.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of ASH, told ‘There is evidence to show that menthol in cigarettes makes it easier for children to try smoking and to become addicted regular smokers.

‘That’s why ASH supports the ban on menthol cigarettes.’

Did you say I can’t buy 10-packs anymore?

Yep – the cheap 10-packs of cigarettes are now withdrawn from production.

Shops and companies now have a year to basically sell up stock, before they’re totally replaced in May 2017.

It’s hoped that by getting rid of the small, cheap packets, fewer people will be tempted to take up smoking.

You also won’t be able to buy bags of loose tobacco that weigh less than 30g.

What about my lite, organic, all-natural smokes?

Stop right there! Cigarettes that are branded ‘lite’, ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ are now a thing of the past.

This is because these descriptors are actually pretty misleading, making you subconsciously think that type of cigarette is healthy.

What about shisha and other flavoured tobacco?

Flavoured tobacco is now banned outright.

However shisha, aka hookah or water pipe, is exempt from this ban.

A Department of Health spokeswoman told that this is because shisha tobacco doesn’t sell in high enough volumes to merit being outlawed completely.

But shisha tobacco will now be subject to the same packaging laws as explained above.

What about e-cigarettes?

E-cigarettes are now subject to a whole new set of regulations.

For example, the advertising of vapes is now almost totally banned.

Plus, any e-cigs with a nicotine concentration above 20mg/ml will need to be licensed as a medicine and therefore subject to the same strict regulations as over-the-counter drugs.

IMA condemns use and sale of e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes are a type of electronic nicotine delivery system, which are much in rage today as alternatives to cigarettes. The younger generation is increasingly switching to e-cigarettes because they feel that they are safe to use, less harmful than normal cigarette smoking and satisfy their cravings.

The recent regulation on e-cigarettes by the FDA restricting its sale and promotion to the younger generation proves otherwise. Welcoming the move, the Indian Medical Association is running a mass awareness campaign educating the masses about the dangers of e-cigarettes and dispelling common myths, which state that e-cigarettes are safe and nicotine free.

E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid to produce a vapour that the user inhales. Unlike conventional cigarettes, which burn tobacco and generate smoke, e-cigarettes have a cartridge containing a liquid which contains nicotine and other constituents.

In Focus

The liquid is heated to produce a vapour the user inhales. Unlike conventional cigarettes, e-cigarettes can be sold with flavorings. More than 7000 flavours are available, including candy, fruit, soda, and alcohol flavors. Flavorings may increase the attractiveness of e-cigarettes to youths, especially those who are not already smokers.

Speaking about the same, Dr SS Agarwal, National President IMA & Dr KK Aggarwal, Honorary Secretary General IMA in a statement said, “Nicotine exposure from e-cigarette use, as with cigarette smoking, increases heart rate and produces measurable levels of blood cotinine, a nicotine metabolite. Experienced e-cigarette users tend to take longer puffs and use the device more intensively compared with novice users. As a consequence, they have higher blood nicotine levels that more closely resemble the levels achieved by smoking conventional cigarettes.”

They added, “Similar to cigarette smoke, e-cigarette vapour contains particles. It is not known whether the particles in e-cigarette vapour have any toxicity. IMA, therefore, does not advocate e-cigarettes as an effective way to reduce smoking cessation and believe that they are as harmful as normal cigarettes and must not be promoted.”

Given the concerns that e-cigarette use may be a gateway to nicotine dependence in adolescents, many public health authorities have recommended restricting e-cigarette marketing and advertising to youth, much in the same way that conventional cigarette smoking advertising is restricted. The nicotine in e-cigarette fluid poses a potential for accidental ingestion, especially by children.

E-cigarettes have been banned in some countries (including Brazil, Singapore, Canada, and Uruguay). In Europe, the European Parliament approved a directive that regulates nicotine-containing e-cigarettes with concentrations up to 20mg/mL as tobacco products E-cigarettes with higher nicotine concentrations are regulated as medical devices.

As per WHO, regulations are needed to stop promotion of e-cigarettes to nonsmokers and young people, minimise potential health risks to users and nonusers, stop unproven health claims about e-cigarettes, and protect existing tobacco control efforts.

Tobacco Firms Lose Packet Legal Challenge

The European Court of Justice dismisses the final legal challenge to EU rules which aim to stop youngsters from starting smoking.

Europe’s highest court has rejected a legal challenge by tobacco firms against standardised packaging rules for cigarettes.

The ruling, at the European Court of Justice, essentially dismissed complaints that changes to EU laws went beyond what was necessary on health grounds.

It also paves the way for member states to impose further requirements such as plain packaging measures proposed in the UK, France and Ireland.

In addition, the ruling removes legal barriers to the banning of menthol cigarettes from 2020 and also electronic cigarette advertising.

The updated Tobacco Products Directive will take effect on 20 May though cigarette retailers will have a year to sell off their remaining stocks before the standardised packaging rules take effect.

They are designed to make the cartons less attractive to youngsters – with health warnings more prominent and covering 65% of a packet.

The EU hopes the move will cut smoking numbers by 2.4 million and prevent 700,000 premature deaths.

A separate legal challenge by tobacco firms against UK Government plans to remove all branding from cigarette packs is due to be heard on 18 May at the High Court and could be subject to appeal.

The packaging case against the EU was brought to by Philip Morris International, the maker of Marlboro, and the firm behind Rothmans and Benson & Hedges, British American Tobacco.

They argued that the bloc was abusing its authority.

But the ruling said: “The court finds that, in providing that each unit packet and the outside packaging must carry health warnings … the EU legislature did not go beyond the limits of what is appropriate and necessary”.

The Directive was due to be introduced in 2014 but was held up in the courts.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking charity Ash, welcomed the ruling.

She said: “We (now) await the UK court judgement, which is expected shortly, but we are optimistic that the court will confirm that the introduction of standardised packaging in the UK is lawful.

“From 20 May, all packs manufactured for sale in the UK will have to be plain, standardised, in the same drab green colour with the product name on the pack in a standard font”.

A spokesman for British American Tobacco said: “The reality is that many elements of the directive are disproportionate, distort competition and fail to respect the autonomy of member states.”

Tougher Rules On Electronic Cigarettes: European Court

Brussels: The European Union’s top court has approved new rules requiring plain cigarette packs, banning menthol cigarettes and regulating the growing electronic cigarette market.

Tobacco companies had protested a 2014 EU tobacco directive, calling it disproportionate. But the European Court of Justice today ruled the directive is in line with efforts to protect public health.

The court upheld a ban on menthol and other flavorings that make tobacco more appealing. The directive also requires standardized, plain labels that cover cigarette packs at least 65 percent with health warnings.

The rules will require warnings for e-cigarettes, limit their nicotine levels to 20 grams and restrict advertising and sponsorship by their makers.

The Independent British Vape Trade Association argued the ruling could push some e-cigarette smokers back to tobacco.

EU’s highest court upholds new restrictive law on cigarettes

Europe’s highest court on Wednesday upheld a tough EU law on standardizing cigarette packaging and banning advertising of e-cigarettes, paving the way for its adoption later this month.

The court rejected a legal challenge brought by Philip Morris International and British American Tobacco, with Japan Tobacco International and Imperial Brands acting as interested parties.

“The court finds that, in providing that each unit packet and the outside packaging must carry health warnings…. the EU legislature did not go beyond the limits of what is appropriate and necessary,” the court said.

Marlborough Man 2016: Smoking icon has swapped his horse for a helicopter and become a Stetson-wearing WOMAN in new e-cigarette ad campaign

The old fashioned Marlboro Man has been replaced by a woman

The new face of e-cigarettes is shown using a helicopter to round up cattle

Imperial Tobacco campaign received a boost after a report released by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) backed E-cigarettes

After using a helicopter to round up a large herd of cattle in the wild west, the Stetson-wearing herder pulls down her bandana and takes a puff from her blue-tipped e-cigarette.

The old fashioned Marlboro Man has been replaced by a woman for the face of the new e-cigarette ad campaign.

However her career was facing an uncertain future with television adverts promoting e-cigarettes set to be banned next month under an EU directive on tobacco.

The World Health Organisation had warned in 2014 that vaping was dangerous but now Imperial Tobacco’s blu e-Cigs campaign received a boost after a report released by the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) backed E-cigarettes.

The RCP’s new report concluded that e-cigarettesbring benefits for public health and said they should be widely promoted to smokers to help them quit tobacco.

In a report likely to further fuel a debate over electronic cigarettes, the influential British doctors group also stressed that tobacco smoking is both addictive and lethal but concluded that e-cigarettes are ‘much safer than smoking’.

E-cigarettes are not a gateway to smoking, the RCP said, and do not lead to the normalisation of the habit – two issues often cited by critics who fear the devices can lure children and young people into smoking habits.

‘None of these products has to date attracted significant use among adult never-smokers, or demonstrated evidence of significant gateway progression into smoking among young people,’ the RCP’s 200-page report said.

E-cigarettes, which heat nicotine-laced liquid into vapour, have rapidly grown into a global market for ‘vaping’ products that was estimated at around $7 billion in 2015.

Tobacco smoking kills half of all smokers, plus at least another 600,000 people a year non-smokers via second-hand smoke.

This makes it the world’s biggest preventable killer, with apredicted death toll of a billion by the end of the century,according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Many public health experts think e-cigarettes, or vapes,which do not contain tobacco, are a lower-risk alternative to smoking, but some questions remain about their long-term safety.

Linda Bauld, a professor at Stirling University, deputy director of the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies and aco-author of the RCP report, said that unlike tobacco, nicotine does not cause cancer, heart and lung diseases.

‘The ideal is for people to use nothing,’ she said, but when the alternative is smoking, people should be encouraged to use nicotine ‘delivered in a cleaner form than in deadly cigarettes’.

‘This is what tobacco harm reduction is – it reduces the harm from tobacco while recognising that some people will still use nicotine in other safer forms.’

John Britton, chair of the RCP Tobacco Advisory Group which published the report, acknowledged that e-cigarettes were ‘a topic of great controversy’ but said his group’s analysis ‘laysto rest almost all of the concerns over these products’.

The anti-smoking group ASH UK welcomed the report, saying it showed ‘that switching to vaping is a positive and sensible life choice’ for smokers.

‘Electronic cigarette vapour does not contain smoke, which is why vaping is much less harmful,’ said Deborah Arnott, ASH’s chief executive.


With his rugged looks and cool cowboy image, the Marlboro Man was the star of the smoking advertisements until they were scrapped in the late Nineties.

Several actors and models have been the face of Marlboro including David Millar, who died of emphysema in 1987, and David McLean, who died of lung cancer in 1995.

Another who pushed the product, Wayne McLaren, died before his 52nd birthday in 1992 and Dick Hammer – better known for his role as Captain Hammer in the TV show Emergency! – passed away from lung cancer in 1999, aged 69.

It wasn’t until state governments banned the use of humans or cartoons to promote tobacco advertisements in the UK that the role was axed.

Eric Lawson who played the iconic cigarette-puffing cowboy during the late 1970s passed away aged 72 from respiratory failure in January 2014.

Last year Darrell Winfield became the sixth Marlboro man to pass away from an unspecified ‘lengthy illness’ at his ranch in Riverton, Wyoming, while in hospice care.

Winfield was a real-life rancher who worked on a cattle farm in 1968 when he was first discovered by the Leo Burnett advertising agency and transformed into a world-recognized model.

Can e-cigarette makers stub out addiction concerns?

As vaping culture grows and big tobacco piles in with huge ad budgets, worry over nicotine use lingers

The medical report published this week which finds that vaping could save millions of lives and should be encouraged could be read as a victory for the Marlboro Man of our times, who has swapped his horse for a helicopter and become a woman.

Perhaps you’ve seen the glossy new TV ad, below, and its evocation of an age when cowboys sold a deadly lifestyle. In summary: helicopter corrals cows under big skies, lands next to massive rock; pilot wearing stetson gets out, pulls down bandana and puts an electronic cigarette in her mouth. Its tip glows blue before the setting sun catches the vapour cloud as she exhales.

It’s big-budget and kind of beautiful. But the ad, for Blu eCigs, part of Imperial Tobacco, comes at a tricky time in the rise of an awkward object. Conceived as a nicotine vehicle to deliver the physical, social and chemical appeal of smoking without the aftertaste of death, the electronic cigarette, used by an estimated 2.6 million people in Britain, has rapidly spawned a sub-industry and vaping culture.

But like a curious teenager clutching an Embassy behind a bike shed, we don’t quite seem to know what to do with these new sticks, or what the risks might be. Just as the the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) called on Thursday for the promotion of vaping in the biggest report of its kind, new rules are about to make e-cigarettes harder to buy – and kill off the Blu Woman before she’s even got going.

The EU Tobacco Products Directive, which comes into force on 20 May, will, among other things, outlaw the advertising of electronic cigarettes on TV, radio and in newspapers. It will also set a limit on the nicotine content of the liquid used in the devices, which use a small, battery powered heating element to create the inhalable vapour (the “e-liquid” or “juice” is a blend of organic compounds, natural or synthetic flavourings and nicotine).

The directive follows years of conflicting advice and regulation. There is no public ban on e-cigarettes but local policy varies. You can vape to your lungs’ content inside a Westfield shopping centre, but stray over the carpet into a Starbucks and you’re banned. Doctors haven’t been able to agree either. In 2014, the World Health Organisation said vaping could be dangerous. A year later, Public Health England said it was 95% less harmful than smoking, but its evidence was subsequently doubted in the Lancet.

Perhaps Prof John Britton, chair of the RCP’s tobacco advisory group, which produced the new report, can help navigate this fug of confusion. “A lot of it is psychological,” he says. “There are people who feel sustaining nicotine addiction is wrong. I’ve had those conversations at conferences over coffee, and nobody has seen the irony in it.”

Nicotine isn’t something to seek out but “like caffeine, if it is used in the doses in which smokers use it, it is not significantly hazardous,” Britton adds. “The important thing is to separate it from the smoke, which is what electronic cigarettes do.”

The RCP report “lays to rest almost all of the concerns over these products”, including any suggestion that secondhand vapour can be harmful. But it will be harder to stub out the connotations of smoking. Almost 10 years after the public smoking ban, and more than half a century after the RCP’s pivotal 1962 report, Smoking and Health, which changed our relationship with cigarettes for ever, we are bound to doubt a solution that looks like the problem. Moreover, as the tobacco multinationals catch up with a runaway trend, and sell that solution as a lifestyle, we are understandably wary of the motivations of an industry which has not always welcomed the advice of doctors.

“There’s a suspicion of a commercial, consumer-led rather than medical response,” Britton accepts. “And there are arguments that these products are being used to promote smoking subconsciously … and that the tobacco industry will exploit them to sell more tobacco, particularly in countries with poorer governance.” The professor of epidemiology welcomes proportionate regulation, including the ad ban, as well as theforthcoming move to allow doctors to prescribe licensed vape kits. But while 200,000 children still take up smoking every year in Britain, he believes the participation even of public health villains is a price worth paying if it reduces illness and about 100,000 deaths a year (that’s about one every five minutes).

“We still have nearly 9 million people smoking tobacco every day when we’ve known what to do about it pretty much since 1962,” Britton says. “That’s a reflection of an abject failure of health policy. We’re reducing the number of young people taking up smoking, but we’re not that much better at helping them quit. That’s why the e-cigarette is such a powerful new tool.”

Marc Michelsen is, unsurprisingly, inclined to agree. “We have had an issue with public trust,” admits the public affairs executive at Fontem Ventures, the Dutch firm which owns Blu, and is an “arms-length subsidiary” of Imperial, the British tobacco company. “But a lot of that comes from a lack of scientific understanding.” Blu is delighted with the RCP report, but less keen on the advertising ban. “If you inhibit advertising, fewer people will buy the product and that can’t be good,” adds Michelsen, who denies that Blu’s commerical is a barely veiled Marlboro reboot. “I think it’s pure Mad Max,” he suggests (I must have missed the pastoral scenes in Fury Road). “This campaign is not about the past, we’re looking forward.”

What do vapers think, and who are they anyway? The majority of electronic smokers buy mass-produced products in supermarkets or online, and don’t think a great deal about them beyond their health and financial savings (£200 a month for a 20-a-day smoker, according to vape sites). But a vaping scene has unexpectedly mushroomed to the extent that, for many vapers, nicotine has become a secondary interest.

At the Vape Emporium, a London-based online store with boutiques at Hampstead and Richmond, a vape consultant will talk you through a menu of handcrafted e-pipes and more than 200 flavoured e-liquids. Perhaps you’d like to try the VG by Simple Chocolaccino, which “blends caramel, chocolate, coffee and biscuit for a divine morning vape”. “We now have juices that only contain 1.5mg of nicotine, which is tiny,” says Andy Logan, the emporium’s co-founder. A 24mg/ml mix compares to a strong cigarette, he explains (the new rules will set the maximum at 20mg). “And some people are taking zero nicotine now because they just don’t need it but still enjoy vaping.”

Logan, who set up as an online store in 2013 and is looking for new shopfronts, says vapers follow a familiar path. “At the start they’re adamant they don’t want any funny flavoured rubbish and go for a strong, tobacco-style vape. But after a few weeks they’re trying some crazy flavours and dropping the nicotine because they’ve got their tastebuds back.” Flavour seekers tend to favour fruit, pudding (doughnuts and cakes are popular) or mint and vanilla perfumes, he adds. Some go further, vaping socially in cafes and clubs and discussing equipment and blends. Logan has just exhibited at the second Vape Jam UK, a three-day expo at London’s ExCel centre attended by 300 companies and clubs. “I took my fiancee on the Sunday,” he says. “She had no idea this subculture exists. It’s quite amazing.”

Logan says his customers range from an insanely knowledgable 94-year-old woman to a businessman who comes in for a puff while his driver idles outside in a Bentley.

Vaping is increasingly popular among young people (it is illegal to sell to under-18s), he adds. Meanwhile, the public response to vaping – while still generally somewhere between curious and hostile – is catching up with its rise in popularity. “I still can’t go to a party without facing a barrage of questions, but it is changing,” Logan says.

As a culture emerges and big tobacco piles in with huge advertising budgets, do we risk discouraging nicotine quitting, or even drawing non-smokers into addiction? “Our annual survey of 12,000 adults suggests the level of vaping among non-smokers is steady at about 0.2%, says Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy at Ash, the smoking health charity.

“It’s extremely rare and I don’t think that will ever change,” Logan adds, rejecting the gateway hypothesis. And he doesn’t need it to. “If there are nearly 10 million smokers and only 2 million vapers, we’ve still got a massive, long journey to convert the rest,” he says.

Cigarette sales get a boost from TV commercials for e-cigs, says study

It’s been nearly 50 years since Congress banned cigarette commercials from the airwaves. But a new study suggests the rapid proliferation of e-cigarette commercials may be lifting the sales of cigarettes, too, offering an unexpected path back to TV for the tobacco industry.

According to the study, Advertising, Habit Formation and U.S. Tobacco Product Demand, funded by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, TV advertisements for e-cigarettes create a “spillover effect” that also increases demand for cigarettes. “If you increase e-cigarette advertisement, then cigarette demand is going to increase slightly,” said Yuqing Zheng, an agricultural economist the University of Kentucky and lead author of the study.

Researchers compared advertising data from Kantar Media with point-of-sale data at outlets that sold five different kinds of tobacco or nicotine products between 2009 and 2013. What they found was that for every increase in e-cigarette advertising on television, there was an accompanying lift — however small — of cigarette sales.

That rise in cigarette sales is small but statistically significant: one-one hundredth of 1% whenever e-cigarette advertising doubles. But e-cigarette advertising increased 17-fold between 2011 and 2014, so it could be contributing to tens of millions of dollars in cigarette sales.

Though the FDA has petitioned for regulatory control of the e-cigarette market, there are currently no restrictions on e-cigarette advertising, the bulk of which take the form of TV commercials. The findings of the study, which was published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, could renew calls for e-such oversight, said the authors. “Such results may lend support to those who advocate that more regulations on e-cigarette marketing are needed,” they wrote.

The study found that the spillover effect was restricted to TV. E-cigarette magazine ads did not have the same positive effect on cigarette sales. “We consistently find that TV advertising is the most effective way to enhance demand,” said Zheng.

Why e-cigarette ads increase cigarette demand is unclear, though Zheng speculated there could be an “umbrella” effect at work. “A lot of the cigarette and e-cigarette brands belong to the same parent company, so when you do advertise for e-cigarettes, it’s probably going to enhance the image of the parent company which owns the cigarette brand, so that might stimulate some cigarette smoking as well,” he said. Intentionally or not, cigarette manufacturers may have found a way to boost sales by advertising a different product in their inventories.

These could be problematic numbers for e-cigarette manufacturers, who have been resisting calls for the regulation of either their products or their advertising. If further research supports the study’s finding that e-cigarette advertising increases cigarette sales, then continuing to allow unregulated e-cigarette advertising “might undermine the efforts to reduce cigarette smoking,” the study said. “If a new policy were to prohibit e-cigarette television ads, similar to what is imposed for cigarettes, the model predicts a small drop in consumer demand for e-cigarettes, and a minor decrease in cigarette demand.”

Whether the prospect of that minor decrease helps anti-smoking advocates win regulatory controls for e-cigarettes and their ads remains to be seen.