Officials with the American Lung Association and American Cancer Society are complaining about an advertisement aired during the Super Bowl for electronic cigarettes.

The public health groups are complaining about the advertising of a cigarette-like product on television.  Television advertising of cigarettes has been banned since 1971.

Seriously?  The whole point of the ad is that e-cigarettes are not the same as cigarettes.  Apparently the public health lobby didn’t notice the content of the advertisement itself, which distinguishes e-cigarettes from traditional cigarettes.

Even worse, the public health officials suggest that e-cigarettes may be harmful and that the advertisement may entice children to use the products.  Yet there is no evidence that e-cigarettes are harmful.  Nor is there any evidence that children have been able to purchase e-cigarettes.  Indeed, most e-cigarette companies have supported legislation that would ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and encourage retailers to prohibit underage sales.

The public health lobby also complains that the commercial was designed to portray e-cigarettes in a “favorable light,” but isn’t that the point of any commercial that promotes a lawful product?

For questions and/or comments, please contact Bryan Haynes, at 804.697.1420 or by email.