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All around the world but even more so in the US, a lot of bad publicity has been spread about vaping products. The most common accusation is that e-cigarettes are are devised to hook a new generation of youths on nicotine, so that they can then progress onto smoking. This is called the Gateway Theory, and although it has been disproved over and over again, such allegations keep emerging.

Adding fuel to the fire by using packaging considered attractive to youths, is detrimental to those in the industry who have smoking cessation at heart.
The most renowned of such claims has been the report recently released by the US Surgeon General, which has been often quoted and has even played a major role in influencing certain policies related to vaping. Fortunately, data has been proving that such claims are unsound.  However the damage has been done, as this misinformation is already widely spread. Hence, one may understand why adding fuel to the fire by using packaging considered attractive to youths, is so detrimental to those in the industry who have smoking cessation at heart.

An irresponsible few tarnishing the reputation of the whole

Renowned public health activist Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos voiced his deep concern about the matter on his blog earlier last week. He said that he was deeply shocked when he received photos of some products on display at this expo. “One would expect a “clever” industry to take measures to minimize the negative publicity, produce best quality possible products, minimize appeal to youth, strictly follow a “no sales to youth” policy and take every necessary measure to create an image of a responsible and serious industry with consumer responsibility.”

Dr. Farsalinos added by saying that even though there are also such cases in Europe, they are a very small minority, whereas according to the person who reported from this particular expo, it looked like up to 40% of the products were packed in such a way that could be construed as targeting youths, whether this is the actual intention or not.   

“All these senseless marketing tactics will hurt not only the healthy part of the industry (which is not my job to support or care for) but, most importantly, smokers and vapers, because this situation will definitely result in a restriction of flavors availability”.Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos

“In my opinion, this is absolutely unacceptable and a clear indication of irresponsible behaviour and marketing tactics.“ he said. He added that this is irresponsible behaviour from both producers and retailers of such products, as whether these products are actually aimed to attract youths or not, that is exactly how they will be perceived. In turn, this will of course lead to tarnishing the reputation of an industry who has been fighting relentlessly to be taken seriously as wanting to help smokers on their journey to smoking cessation, and offering tobacco harm reduction products.

Destructive members of the vaping industry must be expelled

Dr. Farsalinos concluded his blog by calling onto the vaping industry to target and expel these irresponsible members, and to retailers to refuse selling such products. “All these senseless marketing tactics will hurt not only the healthy part of the industry (which is not my job to support or care for) but, most importantly, smokers and vapers, because this situation will definitely result in a restriction of flavors availability. This situation needs to be strongly condemned and criticized, and action needs to be taken to remove such products from the market.” he said.

  • taz

    Why are “youths” in smoke shops??