Updated: Friday, 18th April 2014 @ 6:30am

‘I want to put it in my mouth’: E-cigarette campaign sparks-up controversy with rivals branding adverts ‘sexual crap’

‘I want to put it in my mouth’: E-cigarette campaign sparks-up controversy with rivals branding adverts ‘sexual crap’

By Patrick Christys

It is every man’s fantasy to be faced with a beautiful woman who tells you that they want you to take it out and put it in their mouth, yet the advertisers behind the raunchy new electronic cigarettes campaign have faced a backlash from angry rivals.

The sexy new advertising campaign for VIP Electronic Cigarette Company are designed to promote the novel taste of the new product. They screened after the 9pm watershed for the first time last night.

However, concerns have been raised over the adverts’ intense sexualisation of the alternative nicotine inhalation device.

VIP co-owner David Levin said: “I think it’s safe to say that our ads could be considered controversial and definitely push the boundaries. However, we make no apologies for this.

“Through our TV campaign we hope we can communicate that VIP offers quality in a fun, slightly cheeky and memorable way.”

But e-cigarette industry professionals such as Andrew Pearce, Managing Director of the Stockport E-cig Company, have been left angered and ‘sickened’ by the adverts.

Mr Pearce, who described the adverts as ‘sexual crap’, said: “This advert will do more damage than anything imaginable to e-cigarette companies.

“There is no mention of the health benefits that these products can offer.

“It gives off the wrong impression, it’s disgusting and I don’t think it should be aired.”

Mr Pearce also expressed his concerns about how VIP’s ad-campaign makes nicotine sexy, saying that it could make the highly addictive substance attractive to children.

However, Miguel Corral, co-owner of VIP Electronic Cigarettes, said: "Our product is marketed solely at adult smokers, so we see no reason why the subject of the ads cannot reflect this.

"We admit the content within the ads are tongue in cheek, but we believe that we've taken every step to ensure it's only viewed by adults by broadcasting it after the 9pm watershed."

Mr Levin said: “E-cigarettes offer smokers an alternative that is widely regarded to be less damaging to health than traditional tobacco cigarettes and at VIP we only market our products to existing smokers over the age of 18.”

However, the e-cigarette industry as a whole is coming under scrutiny from health professionals and regulators who are sceptical of the product’s perceived benefits.

Shazia Kamran, Senior Public Health Development Advisor for the Manchester Public Health Development Service, said: “E-cigarettes are not regulated as medicine and as such are not known to be safe at present and have not been shown to be helpful in helping people stop smoking.”

A paper published in March 2012 by the British Medical Association said that due to ‘no systematic study of [e-cigarette] emissions’ they cannot recommend or advocate the product.

The BMA said: “Do they help people quit smoking and what is their overall health risk? Neither question has been adequately answered with scientific research.”

Image courtesy of Boardwalk Studios, with thanks.

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