E-cigarette ads reach nearly 7 in 10 middle and high-school students

Posted: 1/7/2016

About 7 in 10 middle and high school students more than 18 million young people see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on television and in movies, according to a new Vital Signs report.

E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes independence, rebellion, and sex used to sell cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products. Advertising of tobacco products has been shown to cause youth to start using those products. The unrestricted marketing of e-cigarettes and dramatic increases in their use by youth could reverse decades of progress in preventing tobacco use among youth.
"The same advertising tactics the tobacco industry used years ago to get kids addicted to nicotine are now being used to entice a new generation of young people to use e-cigarettes," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. "I hope all can agree that kids should not use e-cigarettes."

Strategies to reduce youth access to e-cigarettes could include:
Limiting tobacco product sales to facilities that never admit youth,
Restricting the number of stores that sell tobacco and how close they can be to schools,
Requiring that e-cigarettes be sold only through face-to-face transaction, not on the Internet, and
Requiring age verification to enter e-cigarette vendor's websites, make purchases, and accept deliveries of e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes typically deliver nicotine, which at a young age may cause lasting harm to brain development, promote addition, and lead to sustained tobacco use. For more information about e-cigarette ads and youth, please visit CDC Vital Signs.