Recent Study Shows Anti-Vaping Ads Lower Youth Vaping

Recent Study Shows Anti-Vaping Ads Lower Youth Vaping

And potentially, the results showed a reduced openness to smoking.

25 October 2022 | Hannah Rubery

Recent Study Shows Anti-Vaping Ads Lower Youth Vaping (Image)

Although in the UK, it’s been noted that there is a relatively small percentage of youth who are vaping, there are other countries that struggle with this issue more. One of those is certainly the US. There have been a lot of changes in the US with regard to vaping regulations in hopes of curbing the rate of youth vaping, but have they worked?

From flavour bans to removing certain brands, the US continues to battle against youth vaping. Is there a possibility though, that these actions could possibly hamper honest smokers using vaping to quit?

Vaping regulations in the US

So, what are the current vaping regulations in the US? At first, there were very few regulations around vaping products but over recent years there have been a bunch of changes and new additions.

It wasn’t until 2016 that the FDA made a move to regulate vaping products after courts decided that vaping products must submit applications to the FDA for approval.

As of June 2022, the only states that have not yet banned the sale of E-Cigarettes to underage persons are; American Samoa and Marshall Islands. Similarly, from June 2022, in 33 states, a retail license is now necessary for selling E-Cigarettes over the counter.

Prevalence of youth vaping in the US

As it stands, in the US, 1 in 10 or more middle and high school students currently use E-Cigarettes. That’s a whopping 2.5 million underage vapers who reported current E-Cigarette use. When you take into consideration the amount of under-age people there are in the US, this number may sound small, but the fact that it’s prevalence of 17.4% is far higher than the UK’s current rate (6%).

Interestingly, in 2021, the under-age vaping rates were approximately 2.55 million, suggesting a slight decrease this year. Many states have since banned flavours and have even gone so far as to pull JUUL from shelves. But is there anything else that could be done to help lower underage vaping?

Results from recent study with digital vaping prevention ads

Recently, a study with over 1,500 US teens across the nation, tested the effectiveness of digital vaping prevention ads. These ads created by The Real Cost company, aimed to show the health harms and addiction relevant to vaping for those who are underage. They also aimed to lower openness to cigarette smoking with these ads.

These ads were shown to teenagers (13-17 years of age) who were either vaping or were E-Cigarette users enrolled in the study. Each group saw three randomly ordered, 30-second video ads at three weekly visits.

It was noted that the Real Cost ads helped to reduce openness to vaping compared to control videos, which were neutral informational videos. Surprisingly, they also helped to reduce openness to smoking cigarettes.

Although it can be hard to quantify the degree of reduction, and whether the results are true to life after the study has ended, the findings suggest a possible method for countries to attempt to dissuade underage vaping without potentially impacting adult vapers.

The conclusion

There is a potential use for these types of ads as a way of dissuading younger generations from taking up vaping and smoking. It will be important though, that these ads contain factual information. In the US, there is almost a new article every day about the harms of vaping but many or most tend to ignore the harm reduction vaping creates for smokers.

The choice to focus on the harm to non-smokers has undoubtedly impacted the mindsets of smokers looking to quit. It can be seen in the high numbers of smokers who incorrectly believe vaping is more harmful – no doubt due to these sorts of articles.

Do you think it would be worthwhile to run vaping prevention ads for teenagers in the US? And do you think it would be helpful or harmful for use in the UK? Let us know in the comments below.