The media are often accused of having influence in too many areas, does this include smoking habits?
For an industry with so many millions of readers on a daily basis, it is something of a paradox that the tabloid press has the reputation that it does. It amazes me that there has not been more made of the Leveson enquiry in terms of it being portrayed as a class war. That being said, with allegations of phone hacking and other immoral practices being directed at many institutions rather than solely the tabloid press, that would perhaps open up a whole new can of worms which, in reality, probably dont need to be opened.
One of the key aspects of the enquiry has looked at how the media sensationalises stories to sell copy. One ex-Daily Star journalist even went so far as to admit the newspaper made stories up, to which many people reacted tell us something we dont know.
cc licensed ( BY NC ) flickr photo shared by Mid-Century Press
In The Firing Line
One of the most well known facts about the media is that no-one is safe, anyone at any point can be placed into the firing line and be shot at. Even the electric cigarette UK market has felt the full wrath of the tabloid press in recent times. Completely disregarding the benefits that electric cigarettes can bring to both individuals and the wider community, they were simply dismissed as pointless and, most damaging of all, unsafe.
cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by NCinDC
The shot at the electric cigarette UK market is one of just many examples of the tabloid press jumping on a story and tailoring it to meet their own needs and sell news copy. Whether through the beliefs of their readers or the ideals of their editorial staff, the media will inevitably spin things to fit the mould they want. To anyone familiar with the UK media, it doesnt need me to paint a picture of how the Daily Mail treated this story given their reputation for scaremongering on a grand scale.
Will It Work?
Whether there will be any benefit to the electric cigarette UK industry in the long run is an interesting question. Perhaps the damage is already done and the media influence has set out the future pattern of the smoking cessation industry. That being said, when MPs and other important figures in British society are being questioned and dragged into the mud regarding media practices as well as their own, what hope for electric cigarette UK based businesses?
By ensuring they remain true to their own values and standing up to any false media reporting, as the majority, to their credit, do, they will ensure that they benefit from Leveson in that they will not have to deal with a great deal more sensationalist reporting, written in haste and emotional reaction. While the influence of the media will be inevitable, people can ultimately make their own choice between smoking a conventional cigarette or an electric cigarette.