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Nicotine Tob Res. 2020 Jan 8. pii: ntaa003. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntaa003. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of Social Media on Adolescents' Willingness and Intention to Use E-Cigarettes: An Experimental Investigation.

Author information

1
Department of Psychiatry and Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
2
Hopelab, San Francisco, CA.
3
Division of Adolescent & Young Adult Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
4
Stanford Prevention Research Center, Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford CA.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

This study examined effects of experimentally manipulated social media exposure on adolescents' willingness and intention to use e-cigarettes.

METHODS:

Participants were 135 adolescents age 13-18 (52.6% female, M age=15.3) in California. Participants viewed 6 social media posts online in a 2 (post source: peer or advertisement) X 2 (e-cigarette content exposure: heavy or light) between-subjects design. Analyses were weighted to population benchmarks. We examined adolescents' beliefs, willingness, and intention to use e-cigarettes in association with social media use intensity in daily life and with experimentally manipulated exposure to social media posts that varied by source (peer or advertisement) and content (e-cigarette heavy or light).

RESULTS:

Greater social media use in daily life was associated with greater willingness and intention to use e-cigarettes and more positive attitudes, greater perceived norms, and lower perceived danger of e-cigarette use (all p-values<.01). In tests of the experimental exposures, heavy (versus light) e-cigarette content resulted in greater intention (p=.049) to use e-cigarettes and more positive attitudes (p=.019). Viewing advertisements (versus peer-generated posts) resulted in greater willingness and intention (p-values<.01) to use e-cigarettes, more positive attitudes (p=.003), and greater norm perceptions (p=.009). The interaction effect of post source by post content was not significant for any of the outcomes (all p-values>0.529).

CONCLUSIONS:

Greater social media use and heavier exposure to advertisements and e-cigarette content in social media posts are associated with a greater risk for e-cigarette use among adolescents. Regulatory action is needed to prohibit sponsored e-cigarette content on social media platforms used by youth.

KEYWORDS:

ENDS; Prototype Willingness Model; adolescent; advertisement; e-cigarette; intention; social media

PMID:
31912147
DOI:
10.1093/ntr/ntaa003

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