E-cigarette advertising exposure in e-cigarette naïve adolescents and subsequent e-cigarette use: A longitudinal cohort study

Addict Behav. 2018 Jun:81:78-83. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.02.008. Epub 2018 Feb 6.


Objective: Electronic (E-) cigarettes are one of the most popular tobacco products used by adolescents today. This study examined whether exposure to advertisements in (1) social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest/Google Plus), (2) traditional media (television/radio, magazines, billboards), or (3) retail stores (convenience stores, mall kiosks, tobacco shops) was associated with subsequent e-cigarette use in a longitudinal cohort of adolescents.

Methods: Data were drawn from longitudinal surveys conducted in fall 2013 (wave 1) and spring 2014 (wave 2) of a school-based cohort attending 3 high schools and 2 middle schools in Connecticut. Adolescents were asked about tobacco use behaviors and where they had recently seen e-cigarette advertising at wave 1. We used logistic regression to determine whether advertising exposure at wave 1 increased the odds of e-cigarette use by wave 2, controlling for demographics and cigarette smoking status at wave 1.

Results: Among those who have never used e-cigarettes in wave 1 (n = 1742), 9.6% reported e-cigarette use at wave 2. Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated that exposure to e-cigarette advertising on Facebook (OR 2.12 = p < 0.02) at wave 1, but not other venues, significantly increased the odds of subsequent e-cigarette use wave 2. Age, white race, and cigarette smoking at wave 1 also was associated with e-cigarette use at wave 2.

Conclusion: This study provides one of the first longitudinal examinations demonstrating that exposure to e-cigarette advertising on social networking sites among youth who had never used e-cigarettes increases the likelihood of subsequent e-cigarette use.

Keywords: Advertisement; Electronic cigarette; Youth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Advertising / statistics & numerical data*
  • Age Factors
  • Cigarette Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Online Social Networking
  • Social Media*
  • Vaping / epidemiology*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data