E-Cigarette Companies Targeting Teens Online

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E-Cigarette Companies Targeting Teens Online

A study conducted by the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence claims that the advertising of e-cigarettes online targets teenagers, thus increasing their likelihood of trying the product.

Online manufacturers of e-cigarettes often promote their products on social media, utilizing major websites. Twitter is the website used most often, with 63 percent of companies posting on the site, followed by 52 percent of companies posting on Facebook and 42 percent posting on Instagram. These sites are very popular among adolescents and teens, with almost half of the users being under 18 years old.

The advertisements on these social media sites promote new products and vaping flavors, like bubble gum and cookie dough, which is appealing to teens. By visiting the websites, the teens are rarely asked to verify their ages, therefore being sold products while still underage.

The use of social media in advertising e-cigarettes may be linked to the increase of use of the product in adolescents in middle school and high school. Between the years of 2013 and 2014, the use of e-cigarettes tripled among this age group.

This is why many advocates are fighting for stricter advertising laws for all e-cigarette products.