E-cigarette ads trigger use in young adults

New York, Nov 20 (IANS) Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may enhance curiosity and usage among young adults, says a study.

“Our study is the first randomized controlled study to show that forced exposure to e-cigarette advertising has an impact on long-term e-cigarette trial in a small number of users who have used it before,” said lead author Andrea Villanti.

Promotional expenditures for e-cigarettes across all media channels have rapidly increased since 2010 since e-cigarettes are not subjected to the same regulations as cigarette and smokeless tobacco products.

The researchers at the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies at Truth Initiative (America’s non-profit organization dedicated to making tobacco use a thing of past) assessed nearly 4,200 young adults from ages 18-34.

Approximately 6 percent of young adults who had never before tried an e-cigarette had done so at six month follow-up; ad exposure was also associated with greater curiosity to try an e-cigarette in the full sample.

“These findings highlight the potential impact of unrestricted e-cigarette advertising to enhance curiosity and trial of e-cigarettes in young adults,” Villanti said.

E-cigarette manufacturers have been able to advertise their products via television, radio, and sponsorship of sporting and entertainment events.

This increased and far-reaching advertising has occurred concurrently with increased availability of e-cigarettes in venues ranging from tobacco shops to pharmacies.

The study was published in the journal of Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

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