Collection: Light, Mild & Fresh
Much like tobacco companies in the past electronic cigarette (e-cig) companies are using descriptors such as “light,” “mild” and “fresh” to reassure smokers concerned about the health risks of smoking that the electronic device is a healthy and safe alternative. This was a marketing strategy successfully employed by the tobacco companies from the 1950s till 2010 (when a law prohibited the use of light, mild, low descriptors) to prevent tobacco cessation.
Although scientific studies have demonstrated no health benefit in switching to low-tar cigarettes (e.g., light, low, mild cigarettes) many smokers continue to believe that these products are better for their health. However, what most smokers do not realize is that they change they subconsciously change their smoking behavior in order to get the same “target” nicotine level. 1 Other studies show that use of low-tar cigarettes actually delays cessation efforts. 2
Examples of e-cig companies that use reassuring descriptors and brand names include E-Lites, Go-Lites, Vapourlites, EZlite and mild e-vaporizer. In addition to these reassuring brand names, e-cig companies also use visual images containing symbols of health, pleasure and social desirability to promote the image of the electronic device being a healthy and safe alternative to smoking. For instance, an ad for E-Lites is of the image of a fit man climbing a mountain. The tagline accompanying the ad is “ Self Belief. It’s powerful and in the right hands it can lead to amazing things.” An another ad for the company is of a person jumping off a steep cliff. The accompanying text reads, “Self Belief. It’s a powerful thing. You need it to climb Mount Kilimanjaro….. You need it to try something revolutionary. Like switching from tobacco to E-lites.
In addition to words and positive images, pack colors have also been shown to communicate concepts of freshness, and lightness to consumers with white, silver or light blue on cigarette packs signifying a lighter and, therefore, safer cigarettes.3 Many e-cig companies including Go-Lites and Fresh smoke employ blue and white packs respectively.
1. Shopland D R, Burns D M, Benowitz N L, Amacher R H. eds. Risks associated with smoking cigarettes with low machine‐measured yields of tar and nicotine (Smoking and Health Monograph 13). Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute, 2001.
2. Tindle H A, Rigotti N A, Davis R B. et al Cessation among smokers of “light” cigarettes: results from the 2000 national health interview survey. Am J Public Health 2006. 961498–1504.1504
3. 24. Wakefield M, Morley C, Horan J K. et al The cigarette pack as image: new evidence from tobacco industry documents. Tob Control 2002. 11(Suppl 1)I73–I80.I80