NMC Health hosting Kauffman Museum exhibit

Chad Frey
The Kansan

A few years ago a collection of "Silkies," and the colorful household items made from them at the turn of the last century, was kind of a hit for Kauffman Museum in North Newton. 

"Vapes: Marketing an Addiction" is currently on display at NMC Health. The exhibit will move to Kauffman Museum in North Newton July 29.

Silkies were marketing products produced by tobacco companies, inserted into packs of cigarettes to try and entice buyers.  

This month the museum is opening a follow-up exhibit to the 2018 exhibit — this one taking a look at the marketing techniques for new nicotine technology. The 2021 exhibit, titled Vapes: Marketing an Addiction, is currently on display at NMC Health. 

"It is where it can be seen by staff, patients and patient families," said  Andi Schmidt Andres, director of the museum. "... There are all kinds of marketing ploys to get people to buy vapes. That is what this exhibit explores, the marketing in the vaping industry." 

Commonly called Vapes, E-cigarettes are electronic devices that heat a liquid and produce an aerosol, or mix of small particles in the air. According to the Centers for Disease Control, most e-cigarettes contain nicotine—the addictive drug in regular cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products.

Vapes: Marketing an Addiction tells three intertwining stories: the rise and fall of cigarette smoking and advertising in the 20th century; the emergence of the e-cigarette in the 21st century and new marketing strategies; and  the challenges of nicotine addiction and quitting.

"We consulted with people from Mirror, NMC Health, Healthy Harvey County," Schmidt said. 

Three compact, free-standing modules display examples of vape products and advertisements, videos, photomurals, and an LED-lit infographic that educate visitors about e-cigarettes, marketing by the tobacco industry, and the challenge of addiction.

Vapes: Marketing an Addiction tells three intertwining stories: the rise and fall of cigarette smoking and advertising in the 20th century; the emergence of the e-cigarette in the 21st century and new marketing strategies; and  the challenges of nicotine addiction and quitting.

Vapes is a companion to the traveling exhibition Better Choose Me: Collecting and Creating with Tobacco Fabric Novelties, 1880-1920 that tells how companies promoted tobacco consumption through the distribution of free collectible novelties.

Funding for the vapes exhibit came from NMC Health, Et Cetera Shop of Newton, the Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, Kansas Department of Commerce and the Kauffman Museum Assocation. 

The exhibit will open at Kauffman Museum in North Newton on July 29, and be open through Jan, 9, 2022, before traveling again. 

"We are hoping after that it will travel to other schools, hospitals, libraries and museums in Kansas," Schmidt said.