E-Cigarette's Popularity Rising on Instagram Despite FDA's Anti-Vaping Content

by Iswarya on  January 23, 2020 at 10:05 AM Alcohol & Drug Abuse News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Despite efforts from FDA health officials to boost awareness of the potential harms of vaping among youngsters, social media users are being exposed to an increasing amount of pro-e-cigarette content, according to a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Frontiers in Communication.
E-Cigarette's Popularity Rising on Instagram Despite FDA's Anti-Vaping Content
E-Cigarette's Popularity Rising on Instagram Despite FDA's Anti-Vaping Content

Despite "The Real Cost" awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one-third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes, the researchers said.

Show Full Article


The study highlights the limited impact of the FDA campaign, while also using deep learning - and artificial intelligence method - to better understand the marketing tactics used by vaping companies.

"US public health officials have been calling vaping among youth an epidemic and have been putting a lot of effort into trying to stop this epidemic by introducing #TheRealCost anti-vaping campaign, but this stark imbalance in the volume of posts has caused the FDA message to be overwhelmed by marketing from the vaping brands," said study researcher Julia Vassey from University of California in the US.

Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses, and breathing troubles, the study said.

To further understand how vaping is perceived on social media, the research team collected 245,894 Instagram posts spanning from before and after the #TheRealCost campaign launch.

The team also conducted interviews with five vaping influencers and eight college-age social media users.

"We focused on Instagram because the vaping influencers we interviewed for this study identified Instagram as their most important social media marketing platform," Vassey explained.

"Based on the results, the FDA anti-vaping campaign is not very popular, and we saw Instagram user comments disputing the FDA claims of damaging health effects from nicotine and calling the campaign propaganda," Vassey added.

In contrast to the FDA's intentions, the study found that vaping posts received nearly three times more "likes" after the campaign launch.

They also found that there were six times as many posts that had greater than 100 likes.

According to the researchers, participants in the focus groups suggested that the anti-vaping campaign promoted scare tactics rather than offering guidance on how to quit vaping.

Source: IANS

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions
Premium Membership Benefits

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive