In the last decade, the popularity of electronic cigarettes has been growing steadily across the world. This growth has also seen a rise in different vaping products and the companies that manufacture them. However, not everyone
is excited about the booming vaping industry. In the United States, federal health officials have expressed concerns about the popularity and use of vaping products among underage children. Research by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in 2016 revealed that more than 2 million children in middle and high school may use or have used e-cigarette products. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it is potentially unsafe for children to experiment with e-cigarette products. The commissioner of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb, has said children who experiment with vaping products are likely to develop an addiction for nicotine which could have lifelong consequences. In a bid to prevent this epidemic, the FDA is cracking down on vaping companies that sell or target underage kids with its products.
In the latest vaping news, the Vapor Technology Association (VTA), which lobbies and protects the interests of the vaping industry, has responded to the FDA’s concern with a marketing guideline. The new VTA marketing standard aims to assist vaping companies to comply with the safety regulations of the FDA. The directive insists that vaping companies who are VTA members should strictly target adults with their products and advertising. Below are some of the most critical points in the VTA guideline.
The first and central point of the VTA marketing is that all marketing content for vaping products should be aimed at adults only. The use of images and names that could be attractive to younger people are strictly prohibited. Cartoon images and names used in promoting vaping products should not appeal to children in any way.
According to the new guideline, no advertising for television, radio, and print should target underage children. Vaping companies are advised to channel their promotional material to adult audiences not children of school going ages since it violates FDA regulations. All vaping marketing materials that reach an audience of which 15 percent are underage should be canceled. The VTA has called for the establishment of a measuring system that ensures that e-cigarette advertising campaigns do not target minors.
The VTA marketing guideline also calls for an end to promotional materials that emphasize vaping as a way to help people stop smoking tobacco cigarettes. It is strictly prohibited for vaping manufacturers to advertise their products as having therapeutic effects. It is also wrong for vaping products to be marketed to people who do not smoke.
The precise list of ingredients used in the production of all vaping products including e-liquids should be listed on the packaging. All VTA members are required to also abstain from claiming that their vaping products do not contain smoke, tar, and ash. The FDA is going to be monitoring for any vaping company that sells its products which such claims.
The new VTA marketing guideline also calls for vaping companies not to use health professionals as their spokespersons. Any individuals who would be used as spokespersons for vaping products during promotions should look at least 25 years of age. The idea for not using health professionals is to make it clear that vaping companies are not insinuating that their vaping products have medicinal value.
It has also been stated that all advertising for vaping products should be physically far away from schools. All billboards featuring vaping adverts should be at least 500 feet from all primary and secondary schools. According to the VTA, this is to ensure that such ads do not lure school children.
The VTA insists that these new guidelines are a step in the right direction. The organization has also made it known that all constructive input that would help the vaping industry advertise responsibly are welcomed.
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