Vaping, e-cigarette use linked to music videos – SheKnows
It’s a problem we’ve faced time and time again – same story, different stuff – when beautiful people use potentially harmful products on screen, impressionable viewers think it looks good. The latest bad habit has splashed across all screens: vaping. And watching music videos with vaping images is associated with increased e-cigarette use among young adults, a new study finds. While we’re not suggesting that pop stars are responsible for raising our children, we as parents should be aware of these influences.
Jon-Patrick Allem, an assistant research professor at the University of Southern California, and his colleagues have conducted research over the past three years to determine the extent of electronics placement in music videos on YouTube and whether it is related to viewership vaping frequency. Although they did not prove a causal relationship, the study did show a correlation.
“In a recent study, we found that participants exposed to e-cigarette product placement or images in music videos were more likely to have used an e-cigarette in the previous month compared to participants with no exposure” , wrote Allem in a new article about his study in the Daily beast.
Product placement for cigarettes and chewing tobacco is prohibited in television, music videos and motion pictures, under the Tobacco Master Agreement 1998, but these restrictions do not apply to electronic cigarettes or vapers. As such, manufacturers are free to include them in music videos by popular artists, which receive billions of views on YouTube and are regularly shared among young viewers.
“Official pop star music video accounts, like Justin Bieber’s account, have some of the highest subscription counts on YouTube,” Allem wrote.
To do their research, Allem and his team first identified songs on the Billboard Hot 100 list between June 16 and September 22, 2018, and their 180 official music videos. They then coded the videos for e-cigarette product placement and imagery, visible brand names, and number of views. For example, the video “No Brainer” by DJ Khaled, featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper and Quavo, contained several scenes of female models and DJ Khaled himself using KandyPens products.
“We found that product placement and e-cigarette imagery appeared in seven music videos, which have been viewed over 1 billion times.” Germany wrote. “These videos have provided billions of e-cigarette impressions.”
The researchers then recruited a representative sample of 1,280 young adults, ages 18 to 24, who lived in California to complete surveys assessing their exposure to specific music videos and e-cigarette use. Participants recalled an average of four music videos from the 20 videos listed.
“Our analysis found that participants who had viewed e-cigarette product placement or images in music videos were more likely to have used an e-cigarette in their lifetime than participants without exposure,” Allem wrote. “Participants who viewed e-cigarette product placement or images in music videos were more likely to have used an e-cigarette in the previous month compared to participants without exposure.”
Allem notes the limitations of his team’s research, however, as the sample size was relatively small and only included young people living in California. The substance vaped in the videos has also not been determined and could have been nicotine, CBD or THC.
“Our study did not determine a causal relationship between exposure to product placement or imagery in music videos and e-cigarette use,” Allem wrote. “However, this is an area of future research for our team.”
According to the most recent CDC data, 20.8% of teens in grades 9-12 reported using e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. The health effects of e-cigarettes in adults include an increased likelihood of having a heart attack, coronary heart disease, and depression compared to those who do not use them or use any tobacco products. For children, teenagers and young adults, nicotine may harm adolescent brain development, which continues through the early to mid-1920s, according to the CDC. “Nicotine use in adolescence can damage parts of the brain that control attention, learning, mood, and impulse control,” and may alter the way important synapses between brain cells are built, which are needed to learn new skills and store new memories, the CDC says.
“We believe that district attorneys and attorneys general should investigate the placement of e-cigarette products in music videos because of their popularity among people under the legal tobacco purchase age,” said writes German. “Health campaigns should warn the public about these promotional practices.”
“Parents should discuss the harms of vaping with their children,” he added. “Young people of all ages should think about how companies use popular media to influence their attitudes and behaviors. Positive vaping images, as seen in music videos, can impact their choices in the future.
If you’re the parent of a tween, teen, or young adult, there are plenty of resources on how to talk to your child about vaping. The most important advice is to simply start a dialogue as soon as possible, even with a short conversation.
“People feel overwhelmed by the tremendous work of having these great conversations,” Dr. Sarah Garwood, a Washington University adolescent medicine physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, told SheKnows, “but messages repeated over time can be more effective than one big conference.. Plus, he feels more approachable as a parent.
Before you go, check out our gallery of cute and stylish kids face masks.