28th June 2023

How vaping brands get you hooked

Vaping has exploded in popularity, thanks to the clever marketing strategies employed by vaping companies. They know exactly how to lure people into trying their products and getting hooked on vaping.

1. Keeping up with the cool crowd

Vaping companies are masters at making you feel like you're missing out if you don't vape. Through social media campaigns featuring young and attractive people, these companies create a sense of desirability and popularity of vaping. By showcasing a large number of people engaging in vaping, they tap into the psychological phenomenon of social proof, encouraging others to follow suit to avoid feeling left out. For example, when you see all those people puffing away, you can't help but think, "Hey, I want to be part of that cool crowd too!"

Example: Influencer Marketing
Vaping companies use social media influencers to reach their target audience. These influencers, often young and relatable, showcase their vaping experiences, associating the behavior with an aspirational lifestyle. By emulating their favorite influencers, individuals are more likely to be influenced and motivated to start vaping. When you see them vaping, you might think, "If it's good enough for them, it must be good enough for me too!"

Chiara Summer 3Atyg1iqw2m Unsplash

2. Flavours that make your taste buds dance

Behavioral insights indicate that emotional triggers can play a vital role in forming habits. Vaping companies capitalise on this by creating sensory cues and associations that elicit positive emotions. The use of appealing flavours, aesthetic designs, and engaging sensory feedback upon inhalation taps into pleasure centers in the brain, establishing a connection between vaping and emotional gratification.

Example: Flavour Variety
Vaping companies offer an extensive range of flavours, from sweet fruits to decadent desserts, catering to diverse taste preferences. These flavours not only enhance the sensory experience but also provide an element of novelty and excitement, making vaping more exciting for individuals seeking new and enjoyable experiences.

Antonin Fels Odqmosugnwk Unsplash

3. Making vaping your BFF

Vaping companies understand the science behind habits. They want you to vape so often that it becomes second nature. Understanding the habit loop model, vaping companies employ strategies that strengthen the loop of cue, routine, and reward, leading to habit formation. By providing immediate rewards and reinforcing positive associations, they establish a cycle that encourages repeated use of vaping products.

Example: Nicotine Addiction
Here's the secret ingredient: nicotine. It's a highly addictive substance found in many vaping products. Vaping companies offer devices with different levels of nicotine, so you can start small and gradually increase your intake. Before you know it, you're hooked on the nicotine buzz and find yourself reaching for your vape whenever those cravings hit.

Romain B 5M0qcjqoeay Unsplash

4. Gaming your way to vaping bliss

Vaping companies tap into our innate desire for achievement, novelty, and customisation. By incorporating gamified features into their products, such as LED lights, unlocking achievements, or earning points, they create a sense of engagement and progression. Additionally, customisable elements like adjustable airflow and nicotine levels allow users to tailor their vaping experience, strengthening the personal connection to the habit.

Example: Device Customisation
Vaping devices often offer options for users to personalise their devices by selecting different colors, designs, and accessories. This customisation feature enables individuals to express their identity and preferences, establishing an emotional attachment to the vaping habit.

E Liquids Uk Hvcmxpyg1gc Unsplash


The marketing strategies employed by vaping companies effectively exploit behavioral insights to encourage people to start vaping and form long-term usage patterns. Leveraging social influence, emotional triggers, habit loop reinforcement, and gamification, these companies create a compelling narrative around vaping, positioning it as a desirable and enjoyable lifestyle choice.

However, it is crucial to recognise the potential risks associated with vaping, particularly nicotine addiction and the targeting of vulnerable populations. Responsible regulation and public awareness campaigns are essential to ensure that marketing practices prioritise consumer well-being and informed decision-making.

Sign up for our latest insights, ideas and inspiration