On September 16, according to foreign reports, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began to make a ruling on the marketing and sales of e-cigarette products, health researchers are looking for more information, such as how the use of social media may affect e-cigarette users, especially college students’ e-cigarette users.
For the first time, Associate Professor Hong Xue, Professor Alison quiliar and professor Lawrence cheskin of the school of health and human services at George Mason University and their colleagues studied the relationship between the time spent on specific social media websites and the use of e-cigarettes and traditional cigarettes.
Although most of the social media platforms reviewed in the study were not significantly associated with e-cigarettes, Xue and his colleagues did find that college age e-cigarette users who spent more time on snapchat (Note: a “destroy after reading” photo sharing app in the United States) did have higher lifetime e-cigarette usage and higher e-cigarette usage frequency in the past 30 days.
Research shows that college students who smoke e-cigarettes occasionally or often spend more than two hours on snapchat every day. On the other hand, non users spend less than an hour on applications every day. The study also found that for each additional hour of snapchat, the possibility of lifelong use of e-cigarettes increased by 4.61%.
“Our findings demonstrate the important role that social media can play in promoting young people’s participation in dangerous health behaviors, such as the use of e-cigarettes. There is an urgent need for scientific evidence to inform interventions and policies that can reverse this trend,” Xue said
Although the use of traditional tobacco by young people has decreased in recent years, the 2019 National Youth Tobacco Survey estimates that more than a quarter of high school students currently use e-cigarettes. These students are now in college and are loyal users of social media. A study by Pew Research Center in 2018 shows that 75% of young people have used instagram, 73% have used snapchat, and more than three-quarters of users aged 18 to 29 say they use these applications every day.
The study also examined whether social media would affect traditional cigarette use. The team found no association between smoking and major platforms such as Facebook, twitter, snapchat and instagram.
The research team used data from the Mason: health starts here cohort study for an observational study. The study included 298 freshmen from a large state university. In addition to Cuellar, cheskin and Xue, the research team also includes Shuo Yulin, Cheng Xiaolu, Matthew rossheim and Dustin gress.