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NZ Vape Industry Marketing on Facebook – Youth Prevention.

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In 2018, Facebook had more than 2 billion active users and more than 3 million businesses using this platform as compared to other platforms like Twitter and Instagram having fewer users. Facebook is designed as user opted-in communities where individuals and organizations make posts, interact by commenting and likes, and share content. This aspect of Facebook makes it more influential for marketing. Rules and regulations are surrounding industry lets take a look at vaping.

facebooks policies found here

Facebook Advertising for the Vape industry Does Not Exist

Facebook policy for Vape Industry

Facebook has restricted the sale of tobacco and alcohol on both of its social networks and cleaning its image for underage users. There have been accusations of the vape industry advertising to minors on social media, even though legally no one can advertise any product that falls under a tobacco or e-cig category. There are also systems in place that keep anyone under 18 out of age-restricted groups; this is effectively stopping any under-aged individuals from accessing such information. Furthermore, both Facebook and Instagram prohibit the purchase or sale of tobacco and E-cigarettes on its platform and placing an 18-years age restriction on any content related to the sale of tobacco.

Types of Facebook Marketing:

There are two types of marketing through a business can be promoted
Facebook Page: Facebook page mainly focuses on public figures, companies, organizations and other entities for their authentic and open presence on Facebook. They are visible to everyone, can connect and receive updates if you interact with them. There are several criticisms on vape pages for not observing laws and Facebook regulation regarding e-cigarette marketing and content sharing. Many businesses use Facebook as a community-building, but vape shops use Facebook for business is very limited. There is, however, marketing that does exist on social media in the form of vendors posting deals and reviews the existing adult customers.

Facebook Groups:

Facebook groups are the place for small group communication and for people to share their interests and opinions. It allows people to come together for a common cause, or an issue, post photos and share content related. The group administrator can decide to make the group public or private and need the approval of an administrator for a member to join the group. Facebook groups created to sell E-cigarettes are also subject to new rules. Facebook will contact the group administrators to alert them of the change. It will see its implementation with the help of a combination of technology, reviews, reports, and will remove any contact that violates the policies. However, any content promoting sale or transfer of tobacco and e-cigarettes will be removed, the company says that general content on smoking and vaping will be allowed. Influencers and promoters will also be allowed to remain on the platform.

Targeted Market:

The graph of popularity of vape is rising in recent years, so has the controversy associated with their use. There are three types of customers usually targeted by vape companies.

Existing Adult Clients:

The existing adult clients are one of the biggest targets of vape companies.one of the reason behind is they help manufacturers to improve their quality by providing them with their feedback. The other purpose is that vapers are indirectly promoting their product by using it in their peer groups, which attract other potential vapours for their product.

Smokers looking to Quit:

Vaping is less harmful than smoking, thousands of kiwi smokers have made the switch, a lot of adults are looking for advice and facebook pages are a great way to interact with communities to find instant information that is not biased. So when looking to make the switch as a smoker having access to these support networks are essential.

Adult Vapers over 18:

Fewer side effects publicly accepted, attract many adults for the use of vape. Followed by the positive attitude of the public towards vaping, it encourages a favourable condition for adult vapers. Due to rules and regulations designed by the health authority, and for moral reasons, vape manufacturers target adults over the age of 18 or over.

Vape shops don’t intentionally market to youth.

Since the introduction of vaping, the anti-tobacco and anti-e-cigarette proponents have criticized this industry for following the steps of tobacco and setting their aim on children for their profit maximization.

They are using candy-flavoured products as a trap for youth to make them lifetime addicts.

As far as this industry is concerned, there is no truth in these statements.

NZ brands, shops, and retailers are not interested in marketing to children and those who are underage. It’s just not profitable for business, not to mention its unethical and a lot of business owners who own vape shops have children of there own and find the claims very offensive.

You’re always going to have the odd few that slip through the gaps who find a way to expose themselves to vaping pages, but like the old saying goes “where there’s a will there’s away.” As a parent, I block my keywords related to vaping in my home router; this prevents them from accessing anything vape related on line.

Ways youth will get into Vaping Facebook pages.

1: Faking their age on the register
2: Setting up fake profiles
3: Older peers or siblings who are over the age of 18
4: Family members leave themselves login
5: Looking over the shoulder technique

Other than this, it’s pretty locked down, and as parents, we can minimize this from happening.

Image galleries selling staged teen vaping images because its big business

The media are using images and stories mainly from the united states, or from paid image galleries to create an illusion that kiwi vape shop owners are doing this. Facebook doesn’t allow e-cigarette/vape advertisement under the tobacco laws, so the claims that the New Zealand vape Industry is using facebook to advertise for children are false: critics want to put vaping companies on the evil list to corrupt children. If there any dedicated vape shops, doing this, only the thinnest fractions of the industry are targeting kids, and will not find them here. The rest of us, the 99%, are working hard to maintain the industry and are pro-regulation with only interest to help smokers, stop.

Since 2015, there have only been two complaints to the ASA involving vaping advertisements.

1: In 2016 a complaint was laid after an advertisement e-cigarette products played during a mobile game, but the claim was thrown out after the ASA found no wrong-doing.

2: In 2018 another complaint was made but was surrounding misleading advertisement, rather than the advertising of vaping.

This article What You Can And Can’t Do While Marketing and Online Vape Shop is an excellent example of you can and can’t do as a vape shop owner worth the read it is purely dedicated to the marketers and store owners who want to market their online vape shop. We will discuss what you can and can’t do in terms of selling your vape products with some live examples.

I have a strong view when it comes to youth vaping the key focus should be how they are getting these products, education for Teachers, Parents, Children and the damage flavour bans will have in the long term. Prioritising on this will work better for us all, the government are under pressure due to uptake in youth vaping however there inability to identify the core issues and amend the SFEA to eliminate these issues is concerning. The NZ Vape industry is all for responsible regulation, but how much time do we have to wait for this? why is it we are the ones labelled for being a rouge industry when Vape shop owners are doing there best to be responsible. Yet there are two-dollar shops, dairies selling these products too. I know, its because we actually love what we do and that’s helping adults quit smoking.

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