Advertising, consumption, and cultural status of e-cigarettes and cannabis

I came across this recently published study finding that exposure to e-cigarette advertising is associated with increases in the numbers of people using e-cigarettes and higher rates of e-cigarette consumption among users.

Photo by Skyler Ewing on Pexels.com

No surprise there, right? Manufacturers advertise for a reason. It’s well established that exposure to advertising and density of sales outlets are associated with increased consumption.

So… there’s nothing surprising here, but it did catch my attention in the context of the recent passage of the MORE Act in the US House.

The bill would decriminalize cannabis, release people federally incarcerated for cannabis possession, expunge cannabis offenses, and eliminate cannabis convictions as exclusionary criteria for federal programs.

So what does this have to do with the study I mentioned?

There’s also this provision:

The bill specifically adds incentives for minority-owned businesses to help them enter the cannabis market, which has exploded in recent years given the relaxation in controls in some places within the United States.

NPR

Alcohol is a celebrated drug in our culture. Tobacco was celebrated and has moved to tolerated status. Cannabis has historically been a prohibited drug and seems to moving past tolerated status to celebrated status.

Prohibited status is associated with one set of harms. (Think war on drugs.) Celebrated status is associated with other sets of harms.

Does creating incentives for minority-owned businesses to enter the cannabis marker help establish cannabis as a celebrated drug? What are the risks and benefits of each status? Who should be involved discerning the right status?

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