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Vape Tricks on Social Media: Implications for Electronic Cigarette Regulation for Youth

Vape Tricks on Social Media: Implications for Electronic Cigarette Regulation for Youth

Principal Investigator: Grace Kong

Funding Mechanism: National Institutes of Health-Grant

ID number: 1R03DA041853-01

Award Date: 3/24/2016

Institution: Yale University


Many adolescents are exposed to nicotine and other potentially harmful constituents through the use of e-cigarettes. Identifying appealing e-cigarette components and marketing strategies can inform strategies to reduce youth e-cigarette use. In previous research, investigators determined that adolescent e-cigarette users found the ability to perform "smoke tricks" using e-cigarettes to be highly appealing. However, no information is available about how vaping images in advertisements entice youth and how social media communications teach youth how to modify e-cigarettes to produce "smoke tricks." The goals of this project are to analyze social media sites popular among youth to obtain user and industry perspectives on e-cigarette characteristics and use patterns related to “smoke tricks,” as well as to identify marketing strategies that use vapor-related themes to increase the appeal of e-cigarettes to youth. Study aims are: (1) to analyze the content of YouTube videos on how e-cigarettes are manipulated and used to emit visible aerosol to produce "smoke tricks," and (2) to assess the appeal of vaping images on the Facebook marketing pages of e-cigarette companies. Study findings may inform strategies such as product standards, advertising standards, and social media communication strategies that could reduce the appeal of e-cigarettes to youth.