We know that the public health fraternity don't know the first thing about advertising, let alone understand how it works. Despite having assortments of higher degrees, the typical public health 'expert' still holds to the 'if advertising doesn't work, why do business advertise' line that's popular amongst thirteen-year-olds and sociology professors (except the latter will add the word 'neoliberalism' into their ignorant statement). Of course the rest of us know that advertising works by promoting the brand rather than the category. We also know that advertising of brands in one category absolutely doesn't promote the use of a different, competing category.
The latest study into ecig and vaping advertising confirms all this and is reported here (although the writer seems also not to understand that ads promote brands not categories):
The major study finding was that neither the flavored nor non-flavored e-cigarette advertisements affected the appeal of smoking to youth. This includes advertisements for e-cigarettes with candy flavors like bubble gum or chocolate. Instead, the study found that flavored e-cigarette advertisements affect youths' interest in trying and buying electronic cigarettes.
Importantly, the study also found no effect of exposure to e-cigarette advertisements on smoking susceptibility or the perceived harm of cigarettes.
The study concluded that: "Exposure to adverts for e-cigarettes does not seem to increase the appeal of tobacco smoking in children."
And, as the author then observes:
Advertising for a product that is being marketed as a more appealing alternative to a different product is going to increase the appeal of that product, not the inferior product. It also makes sense that e-cigarette advertising does not undermine youth's appreciation of the severe hazards of smoking. If anything, one might expect that e-cigarette marketing helps to reinforce the public's understanding of the hazards of smoking, since e-cigarettes are being presented as a favorable alternative to cigarettes.
Even the thirteen-year-olds will get this, I suspect. Will the nannying fussbuckets?