Sex Still Sells
Although I’m a self-acknowledged “vaping vamp,” I always feel a little out of place in e-cigarette stores.
I feel like I’ve entered the private domain of pierced and tattooed brawny young men. With e-cigarettes the size of bongs hanging from their necks, these guys are experts in these gizmos and are only too happy to regale you with all of their specs.
Problem is: I’ve glazed over. I’m looking at the shiny objects and pretty colors: pink, purple, turquoise.
Oh, and a beautiful young woman just walked in.
Now I’m a woman (and I’m heterosexual) and I’m immediately drawn to her. Social by nature, I want to know if I can identify with her. I want to know why she started smoking in the first place, what turned her onto vaping and how she feels now that she’s vaping instead of smoking.
I loved the cover of the latest issue VAPE News Magazine for that reason. A gorgeous woman with long dark hair holding a personal vaporizer (PV) stares back at you. She was proud, confident, beautiful, sexy. She embodied what I think is so cool about the e-cigarette: It’s starting to appeal to a wide range of people including young women, many of whom starting smoking as teenagers to look sexy and “cool.”
As a casual, “social” vaper, I’m probably not alone in feeling out of place in e-cigarette stores. And, I believe our industry needs to figure out how to reach women who call themselves “social smokers” with the message that e-cigarettes are not just for heavy smokers. They’re not just for guys who love gizmos. And, they’re not just for people who want to quit smoking.
E-cigarettes are perfect for women social smokers who want to look chic, elegant and trendy. E-cigarettes with no nicotine also are a great solution for the 40 percent of smokers who aren’t physically addicted to nicotine* but simply to the habit of smoking.
What will be the tipping point for e-cigarettes? I think it’s when women see most of their friends eschewing traditional cigarettes for the hipper, healthier, cheaper alternative.
And, I think it’s when we do a better job of what cigarette companies did years ago: To use sex to sell their products.
What do you think? I’d love to hear from you. Email us with your feedback and ideas on future columns.
*National Survey on Drug Use
Maria Verven is owner of Vaping Vamps