Background Tobacco product advertising has been shown to reach youth and promote initiation. This study assessed trends in e-cigarette advertising expenditures in the USA during 2014–2018, overall and by manufacturer and media type.
Methods Data came from Kantar Media, which provides information on US advertising expenditures, including for e-cigarettes. Advertising expenditures were estimated as the dollar amount spent by e-cigarette companies to purchase advertising space in print, television, Internet, radio and outdoors. Dollar amounts were adjusted to 2017 dollars. Trends in e-cigarette advertising expenditures during 2014–2018 were analysed using Joinpoint regression overall, by media type, and by manufacturers based on 2017–2018 national sales.
Results Total e-cigarette advertising expenditures in print, radio, television, Internet and outdoors decreased substantially from US$133 million in 2014 to US$48 million in 2017, followed by an increase to US$110 million in 2018. By media type, expenditures were highest for print advertising, irrespective of year. By manufacturer, Altria had the highest e-cigarette advertising expenditures, totalling over US$134 million during 2014–2018. Imperial Tobacco had the second highest, totalling over US$85 million during 2014–2018, while JUUL Labs had the highest single-year expenditures, spending over US$73 million in 2018 alone.
Conclusions E-cigarette advertising expenditures have been volatile in the USA, with declines in traditional advertising venues during 2014–2017 that may reflect a shift towards social media. However, an increase occurred in 2018 that is likely reflective of advertising by newer manufacturers. Continued monitoring of e-cigarette advertising is important to inform tobacco control strategies.
- electronic nicotine delivery devices
- advertising and promotion
- tobacco industry
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Contributors FRMA developed the concept for the paper, interpreted the results, wrote the first draft, and reviewed and revised subsequent drafts of the paper. KLM developed the concept for the paper, interpreted the results and contributed to the writing of the paper. YK analysed the data, interpreted the results and contributed to the writing. SB, SLE, YG and BAK interpreted the results, contributed to writing of the paper and reviewed various drafts. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript for submission.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Disclaimer The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.