Get ready to hear a lot more about "vaping." The Wall Street Journal reports that the makers of electronic cigarettes have embarked on a major TV ad blitz to push their products. Why now? Because the FDA is considering restrictions on how e-cigs are marketed and sold, and those proposals could be out in January. "Rather than retreat, e-cigarette makers are unleashing a flurry of new TV ads to reach as many consumers as quickly as possible and cement their brands nationally," writes Mike Esterl.
For example, Lorillard has two new TV spots out for its blu product, and it plans to increase marketing in 2014 from the current $30 million. Rival NJOY unveiled a new TV ad today and will more than triple next year's marketing budget to about $30 million. Smaller companies such as Fin, Mistic, and 21st Century Smoke are expected to follow suit, on smaller scales. And then there's the tobacco giants behind Marlboro and Camel hoping to dent the market with e-cigs of their own (MarkTen and Vuse, respectively). The push comes as the debate intensifies over e-cigs. Backers say they're a healthful alternative to regular cigarettes and a tool to help people quit the habit, while critics worry about unknown risks and the glamorization of smoking. New York City recently banned them from bars and restaurants.