The World Health Organization’s Global Tobacco Atlas, published last year, found that a quarter of middle-aged men are smokers and 22 percent of seniors. It also estimated that 19 percent of adult women are smokers, while 9 percent of children younger than 15 years are.
Now tobacco companies are shifting their marketing focus, taking a path closer to what the Food and Drug Administration has been encouraging. (Food and Drug Administration: Vaping As Safe As Smoking, U.S. News & World Report, February 6, 2019)
Just as tobacco companies moved to create their own gizmos to mimic the sight and feel of cigarettes decades ago, they are doing the same now, encouraging consumers to vape. One recent ad campaign features a black-and-white image of silhouettes in a hallway, seemingly smoking, with the banner headline “Once a cigarette, always a cigarette.” In the camera’s reflection, the silhouettes are seen vaping the target brand e-cig nicotine strips. The two mouths on each of the silhouettes are blank, though the bodies and eyes have been digitally altered to look the way they do in real life, producing a zombie effect that perfectly captures the dread of smoking a cigarette.