Big Tobacco’s Dire Health Warnings on E-Cigarette Packs Seen as Cynical Marketing Strategy
Some of the biggest names in the tobacco business who have diversified into selling e-cigarettes have surprised critics by warning consumers about their dangers.
Some observers wonder what Altria, maker of Marlboros, and Reynolds American, producer of Camels, are up to, and whether their health warnings are sincere or cynical in nature. On packages of Altria’s brand of e-cigarettes, part of the label reads: “Nicotine is addictive and habit forming, and is very toxic by inhalation, in contact with the skin, or if swallowed,” according to The New York Times. Reynolds American says their e-cigarettes are not intended for anyone with “an unstable heart condition, high blood pressure, or diabetes; or persons who are at risk for heart disease or are taking medicine for depression or asthma.”
Big Tobacco discouraging Americans from buying its unhealthy products?
Dr. Robert K. Jackler, a professor at the Stanford School of Medicine who specializes in cigarette and e-cigarette advertising, told the Times he “nearly fell off my chair” when he saw the warnings. “Is this part of a noble effort for the betterment of public health, or a cynical business strategy? I suspect the latter,” Jackler said.
The strategy might be intended to prevent the industry from being sued in the future. Or, if big tobacco “curries favor with consumers and regulators,” they may be “earning a kind of legitimacy that they crave and have sought for decades. Plus, they get to appear more responsible than the smaller e-cigarette companies that seek to unseat them,” the Times’ Matt Richtel wrote. A big part of the e-cigarette industry consists of independent shops that sell reusable vapor pipes and fluids.
To Learn More:
Dire Warnings by Big Tobacco on E-Smoking (by Matt Richtel, New York Times)
E-Cigarette Makers Lure Young People by Using other Names for their Products (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)
$2-Billion E-Cigarette Industry Unleashes Lobbying Blitz to Limit Taxes and Regulation (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)
E-Cigarettes May be Less Harmful, but Also Lure More Kids into Smoking (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- Percentage of Insured Americans and Access to Doctors Worse than Nearly All Other Industrialized Nations
- Bar Association’s Report on Trump’s Use of Libel Suits to Silence Critics is shelved out of Fear of Trump Lawsuit
- FBI, 80% of Its Agents White and Male, Loses Women and Minorities from Top Ranks
- Justice Dept. Moves to Disband Arizona Police Force with Ties to Discriminatory Church
- Cigarette Smoking is linked to 25% of All Cancer Deaths in U.S.