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In-store advertising boosts teen vaping rates: a Canadian study

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According to a new study, Canadian states permitting retail displays promoting electronic cigarettes were almost three times the teen vaping rate.

Until May 2018, e-cigarettes weren’t widely used in Canada and it was illegal to advertise those containing nicotine. When the law changed, Quebec and Manitoba adopted their own restrictions. This includes prohibiting advertising on retail displays and electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products.

Research author David Hammond, a public health professor at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, said the situation created a “unique natural experiment” for researchers as Canada moved from a ban to an open market. It was.

“It allowed us to answer the hypothetical question: Will removing restrictions make a difference to teens’ use of electronic cigarettes?” he said.

answer? “Marketing e-cigarettes makes a difference,” Hammond said. “It reaches the minors too. Our research shows that restricting marketing limits the amount of vaping.”

He also said the trends are similar to those in the United States, where advertisers appear to be targeting the younger segment. “There are social media marketing, digital media, the retail store itself,” Hammond said. “Retail stores are one of the most common areas of exposure-going to buy chips sacks or milk and face product supply and advertising.”

Canada requires retailers to keep their traditional cigarettes out of sight, but many now have e-cigarette displays and big ads using it.

“Where there was a cigarette, now there’s an ad promoting e-cigarettes and tasting e-cigarettes. Suddenly you’re standing in front of a 4×4 wall of exploding strawberries,” Hammond said. Said. Other flavors he has seen include bubble gum, peanut butter, jam, and what’s called a unicorn horn.

He said regulators allow e-cigarette makers to promote the taste of their products, but forbid them to help smokers quit smoking. .. “This does not mean we don’t want these products,” Hammond said. “These products can help some smokers quit smoking, but they need to target the groups they benefit from. Adults like direct mail, magazines, and bars and arc shops You can target where only adults are allowed.”

The survey includes 12,000 Canadian respondents aged 16 to 19.

As a result of the relaxation of e-cigarette legislation, it became clear that the percentage of teen vapings more than doubled (from 8.4% in 2017 to 17.8% in 2019).

Exposure of teens to vaping ads was more common in states with low ad restrictions. Teens who say they’ve noticed the advertisement are more likely to have used electronic cigarettes. Studies show that states with lower advertising limits have a higher proportion of teen vaping.

“In Canada, as in the United States, the vaping rate has doubled, but the vaping rate for adult smokers trying to quit is largely unchanged. [tobacco cigarettes]”Said Hammond.

In response to the increase in teen vaping, the Canadian Minister of Health has proposed a ban on promoting and promoting vaping products online, in public spaces and in convenience stores.

The findings were reviewed by Dr. Ben Hoffman, a pediatrician at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Portland, University of Oregon Health Sciences. He said that he knows exactly what tobacco products are, and is exactly what he expects for vaping. The more evidence they can cite about the negative effects of e-cigarettes, the more likely they are to keep ads and products away from their children, Hoffman said.

“Vaping has been a wild west for a long time,” he said. “E-commerce under the jurisdiction of the US government is not allowed. Food and Drug AdministrationSo, I was left to a jumble of local and state officials who turned it over. No one is responsible as they should. “

Hoffman wants to see a completely banned vaping ad. “We saw the impact of ad restrictions on teen smoking, we should keep the lessons learned,” he said.

As long as these ads are in circulation, Hoffman said parents need to teach their children that they are smart consumers of the media. It’s too good to be true, and he teaches them to find claims that social media “influencers” are probably rewarded for marketing their products, he said.

Hoffman said that children need to be educated about these products, especially the levels of nicotine they contain, but that responsibility should not rest with the parents.

“It would be much more effective to try to remove the enticing ads that children see,” he said.

The study was published online June 29 in Pediatrics.

For more information

Learn more about vaping and teens from US Surgeon General..

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