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FIN de siecle

The Electronic Cigarettes International Group, ECIG, is taking time away from its high wire and trapeze act on the stock market, to launch an ad campaign for one of its American companies, FIN, according to cspnet.com, a news source that serves the convenience store industry.

Since another ECIG subsidiary, Britain's VIP, recently fell afoul of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in the UK for its sexy ads Brits thought were “glamourising the act of smoking,” one wonders what lies in store for us over on the west side of the pond. After all, that sultry actress from the VIP advert, the one who wants us to take it out so she can put it in her mouth, must be looking for work. Who knows but what she'll catch a British Airways shuttle to Grand Rapids to blow smoke, er, vapor, in Yankee faces for FIN?

Only kidding!

The product in question is the AVS or “Advanced Vaping System” -- touted as the “first of its kind” -- and it looks rather more businesslike than the sleek VIP model that the sleek VIP model wanted in her mouth. It comes with “pre-filled V-tanks” so you don't have to mess with filling them from an open container. Babies of America, you are saved! Saved from careless parents and non-regulating regulators.

It also comes with a “universally compatible battery” that is said to give more vapor and an “all-day-vape”. Presumably it also refrains from exploding when you re-charge it – unless of course you try to recharge it by plugging it in to your lawn mower or mix-master and then go off for a nice long sit in the tub.

Essentially it's a disposable, so we've come full circle. But it's apparently a disposable that looks like a vapor-tank system, not a cigalike. So perhaps this is an indication that the mystique of the cig hanging off your lip – that unforgettable James Dean look – is finally broken. Cigarettes no longer look cool – vaporizers look cool.

The primary focus of the campaign will be radio, both nationally and regionally, augmented with digital and social media elements. So the “put-it-in-my-mouth” lass will remain in the unemployment line. The campaign began in December, with the bulk of the effort running through the current quarter, and then continuing through the year. FIN AVS has grown to 30,000 distributor accounts, led by some large pharmacy chains, and the firm plans to add 15,000 convenience store outlets this quarter.

Best of all, neither the conglomerate nor any of its subsidiaries sells poison. This could be truly "the end of an age" - fin de siecle. And if ECIG's dance on the Wall Street tightwire continues to be successful, its chances of remaining independent look, as the Brits would say, “brilliant”! Eat your heart out, Dr. Glantz!

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