VicHealth and Stop have launched new analysis revealing the methods the vaping trade makes use of social media to advertise and promote vape merchandise to younger Australians, together with these in Maribyrnong and Hobsons Bay.
The vaping trade and pro-vaping influencers are flooding social media platforms together with TikTok and Instagram with movies and pictures which normalise and promote vaping.
Some e-cigarette retailers are additionally promoting merchandise particularly designed for youngsters to cover e-cigarettes from mother and father and lecturers.
Key findings from the analysis into vaping content material on TikTok and Instagram embrace adeluge of pro-vaping content material , TikTok is dwelling to greater than 18.1 billion posts with the hashtag #vape.
On Instagram, 16.4 million posts had been tagged #VapeLife, nearly all of this content material promotes e-cigarette use, and worryingly suggests to underage social media customers that vaping is a traditional a part of life.
Using vaping ‘influencers’, folks or accounts that submit optimistic movies or pictures about vaping to encourage their followers are prolific on TikTok and Instagram.
By definition, influencers are sometimes paid or incentivised in a roundabout way by manufacturers or firms, however it’s not all the time declared by the influencer.
Instagram is dwelling to greater than 18,000 ‘vaping influencer’ profiles solely devoted to selling vaping.
Humour, intercourse attraction, methods and the right way to disguise e-cigarettes, widespread themes embrace utilizing humour to make mild of vaping dependancy and poke enjoyable at how simple e-cigarettes are for younger folks to get, selling merchandise designed to cover or ‘stash’ e-cigarettes from mother and father or lecturers, and associating vape flavours with private identities.
Retailers masquerading, many TikTok and Instagram accounts that submit vaping content material seem like non-commercial, or created by on a regular basis folks, however clicking on the hyperlink within the profile takes customers straight to a web based e-cigarette retailer.
Anti-vaping content material minimal and never sufficient to counter pro-vaping messages, throughout each TikTok and Instagram, the amount of content material about vaping well being harms, dependancy, harm danger and environmental impacts pales compared to the quantity of content material that promotes vaping.
VicHealth CEO, Dr Sandro Demaio mentioned the simple objective of the vaping trade is to drive e-cigarette gross sales and hook younger folks on nicotine.
“The vaping trade and pro-vaping influencers are flooding social media channels with content material that implies to younger folks that vaping is humorous, cool, horny and glamorous. They’re sending a harmful message to Australian youngsters that vaping is a socially acceptable and a traditional a part of life, when it’s not,”she mentioned.
“Younger folks ought to be free to make use of social media for leisure and to attach with household and mates.
“E-cigarettes include as much as 200 poisonous chemical substances, a few of that are extremely dangerous and don’t belong in our lungs. We have to maintain the vaping trade accountable for the sneaky digital advertising techniques they’re utilizing to focus on younger Australians.”
VicHealth and Stop assist the federal authorities’s plans to modernise current laws and forestall younger Australians from being uncovered to tobacco and vaping promoting and promotion on-line.