Table 3

Themes and characteristics of online advertisements*

 Product type advertised*
e-Cigarettes (n=24 advertisements)Cigars (n=4 advertisements)Snus (n=7 advertisements)
% (N)% (N)% (N)
The product is less harmful than cigarettes37.5% (9)0% (0)0% (0)
The product is an alternative to cigarettes when someone cannot smoke33.3% (8)25% (1)14.3% (1)
The product is more ‘green’ or environmentally friendly than cigarettes54.2% (13)0% (0)0% (0)
The product is less expensive than cigarettes0% (0)0% (0)0% (0)
The product can help people to quit smoking20.8% (5)0% (0)0% (0)
A flavoured product is being advertising in the advertisement8.3% (2)0% (0)100% (7)
The advertisements feature a price promotion, discount coupon or price break8.3% (2)50% (2)85.7% (6)
The advertisements mention or feature a sweepstakes0% (0)50% (2)0% (0)
Landing page
When advertisement is clicked, the advertisement links to a landing page58.3% (14)50% (2)58.3% (4)
The landing page features information on how to quit smoking0% (0)0% (0)0% (0)n
  • *Cigarettes were omitted since there was only one advertisement. e-Cigarette advertisements encompassed all advertisements from blu, NJOY, GreenSmoke, Vapor4Life and White Cloud. Cigar advertisements encompassed advertisements from Cao Cigars, Macanudo, Thompson and Zino. Snus advertisements encompassed only Swedish Snus advertisements.

  • †Coders were asked whether the advertisement suggested any of the following. Claims did not have to be overtly stated.