A review of 29 peer-reviewed studies found that exposure to tobacco and vaping products on social media leads to increased use.
TikTok’s latest challenge is the emergence of anonymous accounts and the promise of easy access to disposable vapes, creating a sort of “black market” platform. For example, one of these profiles links to external websites that allow users to aggregate products in bulk.
Experts point out that the reason TikTok struggles to curb vape promotion is that it relies heavily on users flagging content, rather than doing it themselves. “TikTok emphasizes automated methods, stating [in their policy] that it ‘allows our team to spend more time looking at contextual or nuanced content, such as hate speech, bullying and harassment, and misinformation’,” Andrew Childs, professor of criminology and criminal justice at Griffith University, as quoted by VICE.
The effect of social networks
Meanwhile, a review of 29 previously published peer-reviewed studies unsurprisingly found that exposure to tobacco and vaping products on social media leads to increased use.
Published in JAMA Pediatrics, the study consisted of a survey analysis of more than 139,000 participants across a number of studies, who belonged to different age groups, nationalities and social media platforms. The responses analyzed indicated that people who viewed social media containing tobacco were more likely to report having used the products.
“We [cast] a broad network across the tobacco and social media literature and synthesized it all into a single association summarizing the relationship between social media exposure and tobacco use,” said study author Scott Donaldson. , senior research associate at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. “What we found is that these associations are strong and have public health implications at the population level.”
Similarly, a UK survey of under-18s revealed a significant increase in the use of some popular vapes on social media, suggesting that watching glamorous influencers promote products on TikTok and Instagram is attracting newcomers. many young people to try the products.
Canadian journal links e-cigarette ads to rise in teen vaping