Report shows e-cigarette exposure in music videos linked to rise in vaping among young adults

Results from the latest of three studies conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California found that the placement of e-cigarette products in music videos significantly increases the likelihood that young people, especially those under 21, will get into the habit of vaping.

E-cigarette imagery in music videos goes unnoticed to effectively reach its target market. The study found that exposure increased the likelihood of teens trying vaping compared to those 21 and older. The more exposure to music videos with vaping, the more likely they are to vape.

Placing e-cigarette products, logos, and vaping clouds in music videos and other entertainment media is an effective strategy to evade regulations against direct advertising to minors. Federal law prohibits the sale of tobacco products to young adults under the age of 21.

The first of three studies looked at the extent of e-cigarette product placement in music videos, and researchers found that around 4% of the videos reviewed in Billboard’s Top 100 Songs of 2018 featured vaping. Significantly, these seven videos, including DJ Khaled’s “No Brainer” and Halsey’s “Alone,” garnered more than 1.6 billion views on YouTube during the study period.

The second study surveyed 1,280 young adults (ages 18-24) in California to determine whether exposure to e-cigarettes in music videos influenced their decision to vape. Participants who recalled seeing vaping and vaping products in videos were nearly three times more likely to try e-cigarettes in the past month than those who had not been exposed to the images. Under-21s monitored were nearly five times more likely to try e-cigarettes.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has sought support from the USC research team in a case seeking to ban e-cigarette companies from using videos to target minors with flavored vaping products. sweets and fruit. In 2021, the DA ordered an injunction against a company, KandyPens, prohibiting product placement in music videos, and fined the company $1.2 million.

The third study, recently concluded, delved deeper to determine the difference between participants exposed to e-cigarette imagery in music videos and those who watched with digitally suppressed vaping.

Analysis of the results revealed that participants aged 18-24 who watched music videos with e-cigarette images were more likely to try vaping, compared to participants who watched the same videos without e-cigarette images. .

“Our experimental study found that exposure to music videos with product placement and e-cigarette images impacted intentions to try e-cigarettes in the future among young adults who had never used e-cigarettes. e-cigarettes,” said Jon-Patrick Allem, assistant professor of research and public health at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and principal investigator of the study. “We know that behaviors are learned and reinforced by observing the behaviors of others, which makes these music video product placements problematic.”

The results of this survey will be published in Addictive Behaviors in July 2022. The results of the findings of the first two studies have already been published in Health Education & Behavior and Nicotine & Tobacco Research.

Evidence from direct association studies concludes that restricting e-cigarette product placement in music videos aimed at young adults could minimize exposure and reduce vaping with this targeted demographic. The Tobacco Master Settlement Act of 1998, which prohibits such tobacco promotional activities, should also apply to e-cigarettes.

This project was supported by funds provided by The Regents of the University of California, Research Grants Program Office, Tobacco-Related Diseases Research Program.


Image By Sarah Johnson – Young girl holding her juul and vaping, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/…


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