Brand: Cosmopolitan
Theme: Feminine Glamour


Feminine Glamour

There are an enormous variety of female images in electronic cigarette (e-cig) advertising, ranging from pictures of a frumpily dressed older woman, to macho women on powerful machines, to thoroughly sexualized and eroticized depictions. These ads target women who envy the advertised image and aspire to be that person and they also target men who want to be with the women in the advertisements.

As often seen with the female form in ads, the images of women in many of the e-cig ads are of highly idealized body forms. These women are tall and thin with flawless skin and a perfect body that most women envy. In an ad for NutriCigs slim, a skinny woman showcasing her perfectly flat belly rests on the beach. The text of the ad reads, Eat Less and Satisfy your Cravings.

In some of these ads the female form is broken down to focus on a specific perfect body part. In ads for e-cigs the most common body part focused on are the lips. In many of these ads the lips are clearly defined with brightly colored lipstick that serves to bring into sharper focus the vapor that surrounds the lips. An ad for Hookah Portable focuses on a glittery jewel crusted lip of a woman who is seen vaping. To show the woman as one belonging to elite society, she is seen wearing a white glove. The image in a Vype Vapor ad is of dark red lips and a small stream of vapor. The woman in the ad transmits sensuality and desire. The message is very clear: if you want to be sensuous like that woman, all you have to do is buy the e-cig. It is not only ads but also packaging that focus on a woman s lips as her most desirable attribute. One of the packs for Alchemy e-cigs has the image of red lips blowing out vapor.

There are also frequent images of female body parts such as the hands, legs or awkwardly attached body parts. An ad for Sky cigarette focuses primarily on the hands of a woman holding the e-cig, her face has been cut-off the ad. The ad seems to imply that what truly matters about the woman is the e-cig in her hand. In a Fin ad, a woman stands on a beach near an old two-seater glider. One of her hands is holding an e-cig while her other arm seems oddly disconnected from the body.

Of course, there are several sexualized and erotic images of women. An ad for PhatomSmoke has a woman suggestively sitting in the bathtub with the e-hookah between her teeth. Her lingerie is carelessly tossed on the rim of the bathtub. An ad for Krave e-cigs has a woman dressed in a bodysuit sitting on a side of a sofa her legs slightly apart as she gazes towards the viewer.

To appeal to women, many of the e-cigs are produced in pastel colors. For instance, Njoy, Vapor Couture, Bloog, V2Cigs, Lady and Super Cigarette are all available in shades of pink. Vapor Couture offers jewel tipped e-cigs especially made for women. To gain the trust and respect of consumers who have increasingly grown to view the tobacco industry as deceptive and lethal, the e-cig industry has supported charitable institutions and issues that are of importance to women. For instance, SouthBeach Smoke as well as Eversmoke donated funds for breast cancer awareness. However, corporate social responsibility sponsorships from e-cig manufacturers to improve public perception ring hollow especially as they e-cig manufacturers use manipulative techniques and misleading claims to lure consumers.

   →  View Larger Image