It is hard to imagine companies using the COVID-19 health pandemic to their financial advantage. But according to a new article on the CNN website, several vaping manufacturers have done just that. Through giveaways and deceptive marketing techniques, brands like SCS Vape and Mamasan have been called out for exploitation.
For the record, the vaping industry has long been criticized for its advertising practices. We’ve covered quite a few stories that highlight how they market to teens and children. There are also aggressive measures done to hide the serious lung damage that vaping causes; along with its addiction risks.
This latest tactic definitely feels like a new low, especially when you consider that vaping carries even more dangers amid COVID-19. The coronavirus has famously been categorized as a lung disease and science has shown that excessive vaping can weaken a person’s lungs; making them more susceptible to the coronavirus.
So to lure over smokers even more with potential COVID-19 giveaways feels like a very reckless move. Apparently, companies like the ones mentioned above have launched promotions where people who buy vaping products can also receive free toilet paper, face masks or hand sanitizer (all enticing products amid the coronavirus pandemic).
Dr. Robert Jackler, who heads the Stanford Research group that investigates the impact of tobacco advertising, was appalled by the measure when speaking to CNN.
“While we thought we’d seen it all, we never imagined that we’d see tobacco companies exploiting a global pandemic for marketing purposes,” Jackler told the site. “What really surprised us was how many different ways they did it, and how many companies and brands engaged in the practice.”
And the dangers go far beyond that. Dr. Jackler added that the “free products,” like hand sanitizer, often come in the same bottles as the vaping e-liquids.
“They offer their hand sanitizer in the same little bottle,” Jackler continued. “You can very easily accidentally think that that’s for use in vaping. You pour 70% alcohol in the vaporizer, breathe it in, can do some serious harm to your lungs.”
And as far as deceptions go, several of these companies have used language in their packaging that would make people think that vaping can help during COVID-19. It has been advertised as an outlet to ease stress and anxiety when, in fact, products like this create even more health risks.
Of course, our stance has always been to stay as far away as you can from vaping products; especially during the pandemic. We know it’s easy to be fooled by false advertising, but please make sure to do your homework before ever blindly listening to a vaping campaign slogan.