How would e-cig ads look on TV?


The New York Times headline “Cigarette Ads Come Back to British TV” caught our eye this week. As in the United States, tobacco advertising has been banned for a long time (50 years over there), and health officials say it’s one reason smoking rates have dropped in recent decades.

The twist here, however, is that the British ads are for e-cigarettes, not the old-fashioned smoky kind. “British American Tobacco, one of Europe’s biggest tobacco companies, said it would start showing television ads for its Vype electronic cigarettes,” the story said. “The ads … are made possible by a loophole in the British advertising code written years before e-cigarettes came into widespread use.” That loophole may soon close, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will study e-cig marketing rules here, the Times said.

A reminder not just that everything old is somehow new again, but that society’s dance with nicotine will go on for a long time. Thoughts? Email me at

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