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UBC Okanagan study on vaping links advertising to increase in teen use

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UBC Okanagan study on vaping links advertising to increase in teen use – Aug 17, 2020

A recent university study claims that advertising is linked to youth vaping, and how e-cigarette marketing strategies are targeting youth.

On Monday, UBC Okanagan assistant professor Laura Struik discussed the study with Global News.

An assistant professor of nursing at UBCO in Kelowna, Struik said researchers reviewed more than 800 studies and viewed numerous e-cigarettes TV commercials.

Read more: Inside the vaping crisis that has hooked teens

Struik said a noteworthy finding is that vaping advertisements promote vaping as a way to enhance a person’s social life.

“We are seeing an increase in vaping amongst young people,” said Struik.

Struik and fellow assistant professor Sarah Dow-Fleisner led the team, which published the paper in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

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“We are seeing that cigarette companies, tobacco companies recognize that there’s a market there, that there’s money to be made off of young peoples’ health,” said Dow-Fleisner.

Struik added “it turns out that the e-cigarette advertisements did tap into almost all the of the reasons that youth cite for vaping.”

Just this month, the federal government moved to restrict the advertising of vaping products.

“E-cigarette advertisements cannot be marketed if they can be seen or heard by youth, whether that is indoors or outdoors,” said Struik.

Both Stuik and Dow-Fleisner say that’s good news because, according to the federal government, vaping can expose a person to dangerous chemicals and can also lead to nicotine addiction and lung damage.

Further, they say because vaping is so new, the long-term health consequences of vaping are still unknown.

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Last year, the federal government launched a $9 million campaign called Consider the Consequences of Vaping in order to discourage youth vaping.

Struik says the decision to regulate advertising is a great first step.

“This is really encouraging, because our study findings confirm that the Government of Canada is making the right move,” Struik said.

Struik and Dow-Fleisner are hoping that the paper will be used to make more regulatory and policy decisions around teen vaping.

“They are being pulled into an addiction that is really reminiscent of when cigarettes first came out'” Dow-Fleisner said.