Marketing Health: Use On Campus Advertising to Promote Safer Smoking Alternatives

On Campus Advertising to Promote Safer Smoking Alternatives image

On campus advertising promoting safer smoking alternatives, such as e-cigarettes, can help reduce cigarette consumption among college students.

A significant portion of college students and young adults choose to smoke cigarettes regardless of the consequences. One of my friends in college was a prolific smoker; she referred to her cigarettes as cancer sticks and joked about the long term repercussions. Many college students, like my friend, are well aware of the health risks involved and “despite crusades and campaigns encouraging young people not to take up smoking, a third are currently using tobacco products”.[1] Solely stating facts and issuing warnings against the dangers of tobacco use will not dissuade college smokers to quit; a different method must be utilized when reaching college students.

Smoking is an addictive substance and though college students recognize the harmful risks they’re taking each time they light up, the physical and mental cravings compel them to keep smoking. Anti-smoking campaigns need to focus their attention on the college demographic as they’re instrumental in shaping smoking trends:

Among college students, the rate of reported smokers spikes to nearly 30 percent. Since research shows that the majority of lifelong smokers begin smoking before the age of 24, targeting college student smokers with intervention and prevention efforts might help reduce those figures dramatically.[2] 

So how can companies and organizations penetrate this elusive demographic and what college advertising tactics will produce the greatest results? Having a college advertising campaign that markets e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to traditional smoking might resonate with college students that smoke. E-cigarettes allow students to mimic the behavioral aspects of smoking, such as the hand movements and the inhalation of smoke (water vapor that simulates smoke), while reducing the health risks associated with traditional cigarettes.

E-cigarettes also address the physical addiction of smoking and contain nicotine—the amount of which is controlled by the consumer—to simulate the effects of traditional cigarettes and according to Britain’s Royal College of Physicians “the consumption of non-combustible [smokeless] tobacco is on the order of 10-1,000 times less hazardous than smoking, depending on the product.”[3] This technology could greatly reduce the number of smokers among the youth population.

Use On Campus Advertising to Promote Smoking Alternatives

Using targeted college advertising venues—such as on-campus advertising, college event marketing, and experiential marketing—your company can engage with college students and generate awareness of e-cigarettes. College street teams can distribute flyers on campus during critical high-stress periods, such as the weeks leading up to midterms and finals, as well as party periods, such as spring break, weekends, and before big sporting events.

E-cigarettes have major potential and “analysts estimate sales could double this year to $1 billion. Some go as far as saying consumption of e-cigs could surpass consumption of traditional cigarettes in the next decade.”[4] This is huge and companies wanting to encourage safer smoking alternatives should engage in on campus advertising campaigns. 


[1] Read more here: A Third of College Students Smoke

[2] Read more here: Research Reveals When and Why Students Smoke

[3] Read more here: E-Cigarettes Are the Safer Smoking Alternative

[4] Read more here: Marlboro maker Altria jumping into e-cigarettes

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One Response to Marketing Health: Use On Campus Advertising to Promote Safer Smoking Alternatives

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