E-cigarette ads: coming to a TV near you? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

E-cigarette ads: coming to a TV near you?

(WTVM) -

Tobacco ads have been banned from television since 1971, but e-cigarette ads may be coming to the small screen due to a loophole in the law.

Since e-cigarettes don't use tobacco, they are not subject to the same restrictions on TV as tobacco products, even though the vapor still contains the habit-forming alkaloid nicotine.

"This is a huge deal for both the tobacco companies and for ad agencies because this presents a whole new revenue stream that they haven't had available since 1971," says Emma Bazillian, a reporter for Advertising Week Magazine.

E-cigarette companies say their product targets current adult smokers as a way to smoke inside.

Advertisements for smokeless tobacco were banned in 1986, but the company Blue eCigs has started advertising on TV late last year and is planning to expand.

Currently, e-cigarette sales are regulated at the state and local level.

Experts say it won't be long until the FDA cracks down on e-cigarettes too.

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