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Insight of the Day: Children who spend a lot of time on social media ‘more likely to vape’

Children who spend a lot of time on social media are more likely to smoke and vape

Key Takeaways:

  • Increased Risk: Children and young people who spend more than seven hours a day on social media are eight times more likely to smoke and four times more likely to vape compared to non-users.

  • Social Media Influence: Researchers suggest social media platforms, through direct advertisements and influencer marketing, contribute to increased smoking and vaping among young people.

  • Call for Regulation: The study recommends stricter regulations on social media platforms, including potential bans on promotional material for smoking and vaping products.

  • Need for Further Research: While the study highlights a correlation, more research is needed to fully understand the causal relationship between social media use and smoking/vaping habits.

  • Marketing Tactics: Vape companies are actively using social media to market their products, with children increasingly exposed to such marketing on platforms like TikTok and YouTube.

Additional Information:

  • The study analysed data from the UK Household Longitudinal Study 2015–2021, including over 10,000 participants aged 10 to 25.

  • The findings raise concerns about the impact of social media on young people's health and the need for greater protection in online spaces.

  • Experts are calling for stricter regulations and enforcement of bans on promotional material for smoking and vaping products on social media.

Overall, the research underscores the potential influence of social media on adolescent behavior and the need for proactive measures to protect young people from exposure to harmful products and behaviors online.

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