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E-cigarette Advertising Expenditures in the U.S., 2011–2012

      Background

      Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are growing in popularity, but little is known about the extent to which these products are advertised to consumers.

      Purpose

      To estimate expenditures for e-cigarette advertising in magazines, TV, the Internet, newspapers, and radio in the U.S. from 2011 to 2012.

      Methods

      E-cigarette advertising data were obtained from leading media intelligence companies, Kantar Media and Nielsen. Estimated e-cigarette advertising expenditures were summarized across media channels for 2011 and 2012. Additional information on brands advertised and market-level buys (i.e., local versus national) also was examined.

      Results

      Overall, e-cigarette advertising expenditures across media channels tripled from $6.4 million in 2011 to $18.3 million in 2012. Expenditures were highest in magazines and TV and lowest in newspapers and on the Internet. More than 80 unique brands were advertised, but blu eCigs dominated ad spending, comprising 76.7% of all e-cigarette advertising expenditures in 2012. National markets were increasingly targeted from 54.9% of ad buys in 2011 to 87.0% of ad buys in 2012.

      Conclusions

      E-cigarette advertising expenditures are increasing, with a greater focus on national markets and TV ads, which will likely increase consumer awareness and use of e-cigarettes in the future. Federal-level efforts are needed to mandate that e-cigarette companies report their advertising expenditures. Future studies should examine how e-cigarette advertising expenditures and message content influence consumer awareness of, interest in, and use of e-cigarettes.
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