There is a link between exposure to e-cigarette advertisements and the use of e-cigarettes by middle and high school students, according to new study of Pediatrics.
The study, “Exposure to Advertisements and Electronic Cigarette Use Among U.S. Middle and High School Students,” published online April 25, found that the greater the exposure to e-cigarette advertisements among middle and high school students, the greater the odds of current e-cigarette use.
Between 2011 and 2014, the percentage of middle school students who used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days increased to nearly 4 percent, up from 0.6 percent. The percentage of high school students who used e-cigarettes rose to more than 13 percent, up from 1.5 percent, during the same period. Even though traditional cigarette advertising has been banned from television since 1971, e-cigarette advertising remains unregulated at the federal level. Between 2011 and 2014, estimated e-cigarette advertising expenditures increased from $6.4 million to $115 million nationally.
E-cigarettes typically contain tobacco-derived nicotine, which is highly addictive, could lead to sustained tobacco use, and may cause lasting harm to brain development among youth.
The study authors recommend comprehensive tobacco prevention and control strategies addressing all forms of tobacco use, including e-cigarettes, to reduce e-cigarette use and exposure to e-cigarette advertising among youth.