Advertising on social media is a way for a person or company to promote their products, why should advertising electronic cigarettes be any different? Electronic cigarette consumers often advertise on social media sites to promote their products and have links to other electronic cigarette websites.

social-mediaThe FDA has no way of tracking what is happening on social media sources such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However, with the help of researchers, a group is assessing the risks of electronic cigarettes by counting puffs taken by volunteer vapers. Another group will scour Facebook for posts on how people are tinkering with e-cigs to make the devices deliver extra nicotine (mods, etc). The third group is building a virtual convenience store for 13-17 year olds, measuring how e-cigs display and price promotions are influencing minors to buy popular e-cig devices. With that said, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are spending up to $270 million on the above research projects, along with 45 other research projects to determine the risks of electronic cigarettes.

Researchers have collected tweets and other social media data about electronic cigarettes for a two month period in 2012. They have methodically and carefully chosen certain keywords, as well as having captured over 70,000 tweets related to electronic cigarettes.  Out of the 70,000 tweets they collected 90% were commercial related tweets and 10% were individual consumer related tweets. They have also found that about 94 percent of the commercial tweets include a website link.

Most social media websites such as Facebook have already restricted advertising campaigns, but in the latest FDA’s Proposed Federal Regulations there were no restrictions on the advertising and marketing of electronic cigarettes. Even after the regulations were made public e-cigarettes remain eligible to be marketed on television, radio and other media sources. E-Cigarette vendors have already began to self-regulate even before the draft came about by deterring minors away from attempting to buy e-cigarettes by placing an age checking software on their websites. That said, advertising electronic cigarettes on social media shouldn’t be treated any differently than any other industry type.


  1. Seriously? The advertising of regular tobacco products isn’t even prohibited on social media. In fact, the only advertising bans in place are on radio or TV – at least in the United States (who knows what the nanny states of Europe have in place?). All attempts at banning other forms of advertising have been legally challenged under First Amendment rights and the tobacco companies have won every single time. Tobacco cigarettes can be advertised in magazines, newspapers, billboards and most certainly on social media. They pay tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their products in movies, too. Why would e-cigarettes be any different?

  2. NO! Not at all because banning anything is simply a form of censorship. E-cigs cant currently advertise on Facebook, Google Adwords, Twitter or the other major platforms…basically a small group of people are limiting what we have access to.