Tobacco and vaping companies are taking advantage of unique marketing opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Los Angeles Times reports. They are offering discounts and making donations of money and supplies.
Altria, which makes Marlboro cigarettes, announced a $1 million relief investment to help vulnerable residents near its headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, during the pandemic. Vape manufacturers and retailers are donating hand sanitizer to local fire and police departments across the country.
“It’s as if they don’t realize they’re in the business of destroying lungs,” said Matthew Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “It literally takes your breath away. It makes the word ‘hypocrisy’ feel feeble.”
“Because it attacks the lungs, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 could be an especially serious threat to those who smoke tobacco or marijuana or who vape,” the National Institute on Drug Abuse said in a statement last month.
COVID-19 is a Good Reason to Help Your Child Quit (or Never Start) Vaping
If you have previously asked your child to quit or cut back without the result you’d hoped for, the circumstances surrounding COVID-19 present a good opportunity to try again.