Like most consumer products, many electronic cigarette (e-cig) companies create products and advertisements specifically targeted to women. Many of these ads follow stereotypes associated with gender targeted ads and are either overly feminine (in shades of pink or with floral designs) or target insecurities.
Even in their brand names, these brands target women by speaking to their desires. For instance, the brand Vogue, brands it as “new lifestyle.” The e-cig devices for most brands under this category are available in pastel colors such as pink and peach. The slim design, very reminiscent of the slim cigarettes of popular women cigarette brands such as Virginia Slims and Max, are crystal tipped to appeal to the modern woman. An ad for Luli e-cigs has the image of the product on a vanity table by the side of an elegant and beautiful tiara made of pearls and in front of a vintage bottle of perfume. The presence of the product on the vanity case is intended to convey that it is just another element in making you look and feel beautiful.
In addition to creating sleekly designed devices, many brands have also created a whole line of fashionable accessories from e-cig lanyards to e-cig handbags. Cottien, which brands itself as the “most feminine electronic cigarette in the world,” has an artistic rendition of a fashion model on each device. Through blogs, Pinterest boards and Facebook posts, these e-cig companies reach out to women, including adolescent girls, and provide them with tips on how to be stylish and trendy. For instance, Pinterest board for Vapor Couture teaches women how to coordinate their dress with Vapor Couture accessories. The board for Cottien has images of pink frosted cupcakes and girly, floral, sneakers as must-have items for this summer.
Many of the e-cig brands through their descriptors, ads, and messages on social media boards also provide a subliminal message that vaping their brand will result in the smoker obtaining or maintaining a slim figure. An ad for Luli disposable e-cigs contains the image of the product along with the call out, “new improved formula, brand new design.” The ad is intended to encourage women to believe that a product was redesigned to better suit their needs.