A study conducted by the University of Queensland in Australia sought to investigate how e-cigarettes and vaping in general were presented on TikTok, a sharing platform increasingly popular among teenagers.
Methodologically, the researchers selected the nine most commonly used keywords in the hashtags to identify the most popular videos about vaping. The researchers then independently coded the number of views as “Likes,” “User Category,” and “Topic.” In the end, 808 videos were included in the study. Collectively, these videos have been viewed over 1.5 billion times. The majority of videos described e-cigarettes positively (63%), 24% were neutral towards vaping and 13% conveyed a negative message. The themes of the videos were mainly humorous (52%), lifestyle (35%), purely marketing (29%), gave vaping tips (20%), mentioned the addictive nature of nicotine (20%) or clearly warned about the risks of vaping (11%). The authors advocate a measure of age restriction in order not to overexpose adolescents to messages too globally positive on the e-cigarette.
Vaping on TikTok : a systematic thematic analysis. Tianze Sun & coll. https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/early/2021/07/14/tobaccocontrol-2021-056619
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