Study Claims that Teens Are More Likely to Vape After Viewing Ecig Ads

You’ve probably heard the warnings about how peer pressure can influence teenagers to drink or do drugs. But today’s teens aren’t just tasked with overcoming peer pressure. Now they have to worry about ecig advertisements, which a new study claims is making young people more likely to try electronic cigarettes. If you think this sounds like another case of fear mongering, you might be right.

The study was pioneered by Matthew Farrelly and published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine. Farrelly and his coworkers discovered that when a teen views four ecigarette ads, he or she has a 50 percent increased likelihood of vaping in the future. The teens were also more likely to express positive sentiments about ecigs.

Is this study really teaching us anything new? After all, any advertisements are designed to influence the public’s perception of a brand and ultimately lead to a stronger desire for those products. Was it really necessary to do a new study to figure this out?

If you showed a group of teenagers four commercials featuring hamburgers, wouldn’t they have a higher chance of wanting a burger afterwards? Wouldn’t they be more inclined to have positive things to say about eating hamburgers? It’s basic psychology and advertising principles being touted as ground breaking new research.

The problem here is that lawmakers will latch on to this information as another reason to tighten down on ecigs. Yet why should ecig ads be banned if alcohol commercials remain? Isn’t alcohol posing a serious threat to minors? Five thousand minors die each year from alcohol related incidents, but how many teens are dying from using ecigs? There has not been a single teen ecig death reported.

We have to protect the children. That’s a favorite argument from lawmakers and political pundits around the world and no one disagrees. However, electronic cigarettes should not be enemy number one. It seems that our leaders have their priorities out of order and this is another case of wasted research funds that could have gone to something that is actually beneficial to society.

Do you think ecig ads should be banned? Was this study a waste of money?

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