Old tobacco playbook gets new use by e-cigarettes

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Associated Press

Posted on August 3, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Updated Saturday, Aug 3 at 11:02 AM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Companies vying for a stake in the fast-growing electronic cigarette business are reviving marketing tactics used to hook generations of Americans on regular smokes.

They're using cab-top and bus stop displays, sponsoring race cars and events, and running slick TV commercials featuring celebrities.

The Food and Drug Administration plans to set marketing and product regulations for electronic cigarettes in the near future. But for now, almost anything goes.

The battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution, creating vapor that users inhale.

So far, there's not much scientific evidence showing e-cigarettes help smokers quit or smoke less, or how safe they are.

The marketing tactics are raising worries that the devices' makers could tempt young people to take them up. But the makers of e-cigarettes defend their strategy and their products.

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