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‘Help Save The Planet One Bidi Stick At A Time!’: greenwashing disposable vapes
  1. Kathryn Heley1,
  2. Lauren Czaplicki2,
  3. Ryan David Kennedy2,
  4. Meghan Moran2
  1. 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Health, Behavior and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Kathryn Heley, Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA; kheley1{at}jhmi.edu

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Bidi Stick is a single use electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) launched in 2020 by Bidi Vapor.1 Distributed and sold online and in retail stores in the USA,2 the brand’s popularity is growing, with Bidi Stick sales comprising 28% of the disposable e-cigarette market in the fourth quarter of 2020.1 3 In their recent campaign ‘Bidi Cares,’ Bidi Vapor presents their company as the industry leader in environmental consciousness, protection, and care. Central to their marketing is greenwashing, a technique in which products or brands are portrayed as eco-friendly or natural.4–6 Cigarette7–10 and e-cigarette advertising11–14 have both leveraged greenwashing tactics, including cigarette advertisements (predominantly Natural American Spirit) describing their products as ‘natural,’ ‘additive-free,’ ‘organic;’15 16 using nature-related imagery;7–9 17 and highlighting pro-environment corporate social responsibility activities (eg, anti-litter campaigns)7–10 and e-cigarette advertisements touting their products as better for the environment than cigarettes14 and organic or natural.13 Although greenwashing tactics do not make explicit claims about a product’s health benefits or risk profile, they have nonetheless been linked to reduced harm perceptions18–26 and youth appeal.27 28 While analysing media surveillance for an …

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Footnotes

  • Twitter @ryan_david

  • Contributors KH designed, wrote and revised the manuscript. LC, RDK and MM participated substantively in design and editing of the final manuscript.

  • Funding Meghan Bridgid Moran, Ph.D., holds an Innovation in Regulatory Science Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

  • Competing interests MM is serving as a paid expert witness in litigation sponsored by the Public Health Advocacy Institute against RJ Reynolds. This arrangement has been reviewed and approved by the Johns Hopkins University in accordance with its conflict of interest policies. RDK has served as an unpaid expert witness in litigation against Philip Morris, USA.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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