Investigation finds e-cigarette content on Instagram violates policies and is being sold to teenagers

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New research presented May 4th at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting It shows how e-cigarettes are promoted on digital platforms in violation of federal and Instagram policies.

Key violations include omitting age-restricted content tags on Instagram and failing to address the addictive nature of e-cigarettes and other e-cigarette products. Previous studies have found that exposure to e-cigarettes on social media is correlated with increased use.

The term “e-cigarette” refers to e-cigarette products, synthetic nicotine products, and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). In a new study, Jessica Tran and colleagues reviewed ENDS-based content on Instagram for levels of engagement among youth users, accuracy of ENDS information presented, and compliance with federal and Instagram regulatory policies.

Researchers examined ENDS-related Instagram posts from December 2023 using a simulated 14-year-old female profile and searching for hashtags such as #vapelife, #vapecommunity, and #ecig. The team examined her 51 posts from these hashtags and assessed the presence of health-related warnings and common themes.

The majority (34) of the 51 posts portrayed e-cigarette use positively, while 12 were negative about ENDS. The most common marketing strategies used included aesthetic and lifestyle appeals. Two-thirds of the posts did not include age restrictions or warnings about the addictive nature of nicotine, violating FDA regulations.

In violation of Instagram’s branded content policy, 23 of the 51 posts were created by ambassadors who work as vape shops or vape brand distributors. Out of 51 posts, only 14 of his posts were intended to educate consumers, and 30 of them were created for promotional purposes.

“Young people’s exposure to e-cigarettes and other ENDS-related content must be curbed through effective age restrictions and diligent enforcement of regulatory policies,” Tran said. “More importantly, ENDS-related content needs to evolve to educate consumers about the potential health effects of ENDS. how to use. “

Quote: Investigation finds e-cigarette content on Instagram violates policies and is being sold to teenagers (May 6, 2024) Retrieved May 6, 2024 from cigarette-content-instagram-violates-policies.html

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“A new study presented at the American Psychiatric Association’s annual meeting on May 4 shows that the way e-cigarettes are promoted on digital platforms violates federal and Instagram policies. …”
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