STUDY: Advertising influences smoking and vaping of young people

STUDY: Advertising influences smoking and vaping of young people

According to a new study published in ERJ Open Research, the more teens claim to have seen advertisements for the e-cigarette, the more they tend to use it and also to consume tobacco.


This new study of the European Lung Foundation took place in Germany, where regulations on tobacco advertising and e-cigarettes are more permissive than in other parts of Europe. Elsewhere, it is forbidden to advertise tobacco products, but certain types of e-cigarette advertising and promotions remain permitted.

Researchers say their work demonstrates that children and adolescents should be protected from the potential dangers of smoking and the use of e-cigarettes through a total ban on advertising and promotions.

Le Dr. Julia Hansen, a researcher at the Institute for Research on Therapy and Health (IFT-North), Kiel, Germany, was a co-researcher for this study. She states: The World Health Organization recommends a complete ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship for tobacco products in its Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. Despite this, in Germany, tobacco and e-cigarettes can still be advertised in stores, on billboards and in cinemas after 18 hours. Elsewhere, although tobacco advertising may be banned, the regulation of advertising for e-cigarettes is more variable. We wanted to examine the impact that advertising can have on young people. »

The researchers asked 6 902 students schools from six German states to fill out anonymous questionnaires. They were aged from 10 to 18 years old and averaged 13 years. They were asked about their lifestyle, including diet, exercise, smoking, and the use of e-cigarettes. They were also asked about their socio-economic status and educational outcomes.

Students were presented with images of true e-cigarette advertisements without mentioning marks and asked how often they had seen them.

In total, 39% of students said they saw the ads. Those who said they saw the ads were 2 3 times more likely to say they were using the e-cigarette and 40% more likely to say they were smoking tobacco. The results also suggest a correlation between the number of advertisements seen and the frequency of consumption of the e-cigarette or tobacco. Other factors, such as age, the tendency to look for certain sensations, the type of school attended by teens, and having a friend who smoked were also related to the likelihood of using e-mail. smoking and smoking.


Dr. Hansen said, " In this large study of adolescents, we clearly see a trend: those who say they have seen advertisements for the e-cigarette are more likely to say they have already vaped or smoked tobacco »

She adds " This type of research can not prove any cause and effect, but it suggests that advertising on the e-cigarette affects these vulnerable young people. At the same time, we know that e-cigarette manufacturers offer child-friendly flavors, such as sweets, chewing gum and cherries. »

According to her " There is evidence that the e-cigarette is not harmless, and this study adds to the existing evidence that advertising about vape products and their use could also lead to teen smoking. There is concern that their use could be a "gateway" to smoking that could contribute to the development of a new generation of smokers. Young people should therefore be protected from any type of marketing action. »

Dr. Hansen hopes to continue to study this large group of students to determine if there are any changes over time. According to her, her work could help clarify the correlations between exposure to advertising and the use of e-cigarettes and tobacco.

Le Pr Charlotta Pisinger, chairman of the tobacco control committee of the European Society of Pneumology, which did not participate in the research states: Producers of e-cigarettes can claim that advertising is a legitimate way of informing adults about their products. However, this study suggests that children and youth may suffer collateral damage.«

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Passionate about journalism, I decided to join the editorial team of in 2017 in order to mainly deal with vape news in North America (Canada, United States).