Research by Basáñez, Tatiana, Majmundar, Anuja, Cruz, Tess Boley, & Unger, Jennifer B. (2018)
Written by Robin N. Fatovic B.S.
Why has vaping or e-cigarettes become so popular among our youth?Initially producers promoted e-cigarettes as a replacement for harmful cigarettes. Yet,research found vaping caused inhalation of dangerous metals that damaged DNA and caused cancer. Significant negative side effects impact the lungs, heart, brain, and dental health. These consequences are especially detrimental for the brain development of youth and young adults. Manufacturers promote a variety of enticing flavors. Now, children and adolescents commonly use vapes.
Researchers studied vaping’s appeal by analyzing 1 million vaping Tweets from January to March of 2017. They associated1200 vaping tweets with healthy sounding words such as “natural,” “vitamin,” “vegan,” and “organic.” Of these positive health related tweets, Marketers tweeted over half of them. Almost 30% of the marketers’ tweets stated vaping is harmless and 9% identified vapes as “health enhancing.”
Kids and teens likely believe these marketers who promote e-cigarettes as a healthy alternative to smoking. Educate youth on the side effects, addictive quality, and long-term harmful effects of vaping, falsely promoted as healthy. Encourage the FDA to regulate any unsupported claims used in social media.
Basáñez, T., Majmundar, A., Cruz, T. B., & Unger, J. B. (2018). Vaping associated with healthy food words: A content analysis of Twitter. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 8, 147–153. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abrep.2018.09.007