The impact of marketing on adolescent vaping behavior

July 3, 2020

Marketing for traditional cigarettes has long been curtailed to stem smoking, but the regulations haven’t always caught up with the marketing needs for vaping. A report examines the impact of promoting vaping on the prevalence of vaping.

With the rise of vaping and electronic cigarette use among teenagers, there has been greater scrutiny to the role that marketing has played in the increasing use. A report in Pediatrics examines the impact of loosened restriction on marketing in Canada.1

Investigators sent repeated cross-sectional surveys to 12,004 Canadian adolescents who were aged 16 to 19 years. The surveys were completed online in 2017, 2018, and 2019. They used the results to look at the impact on exposure to marketing and use as well as to examine the difference between provinces with varying restrictions.

In 2017, 13.6% of the teenagers said that they noticed e-cigarette promotion either often or very often. By 2019, the percentage had roughly doubled to 26.0%. The researchers found that overall marketing exposure was found to be more prevalent in the provinces that had fewer restrictions. Teenagers who reported often noticing marketing were also more likely to report they had vaped in the past 20 days; had vaped in the past week; and had vaped ≥20 days in the past month. Participants in provinces with fewer restrictions had a higher prevalence of vaping within the past 30 days and in the past week.

The investigators concluded that exposure to vaping marketing can be tied to an increased prevalence of vaping. Further they concluded that more restrictions placed on marketing appeared to be tied to lower exposure to marketing as well as a lower prevalence of vaping.

Reference

1. Hammond D, Reid JL, Burkhalter R, Rynard VL. E-cigarette marketing regulations and youth vaping: cross-sectional surveys, 2017–2019. Pediatrics. 2020;146(1):e20194020. doi:10.1542/peds.2019-4020