Get ready for the next media onslaught everyone. The University of Texas put out a press release yesterday about a study that will be published next month. The study claims that e-cigarette marketing is linked to kids vaping.
The study combed through the 2014 Youth Tobacco Survey and somehow came up with the notion that kids are vaping because of e-cigarette ads.
Students who had tried e-cigarettes before were 16 percent more likely to have encountered an e-cigarette marketing message in print, retail settings, internet, television or movies compared to non-users. Further, current users of e-cigarettes were 22 percent more likely to have encountered one marketing message compared to non-users. With each additional exposure to another channel of e-cigarette marketing, students’ odds of using e-cigarettes grew exponentially.
The release goes on to accuse e-cigarette companies of actively targeting kids the same way that cigarette companies did back in the day. This despite the fact that the survey wouldn’t have any data on how the ads are actually targeted.
“E-cigarette companies are following what cigarette companies did. There are no restrictions on the messaging they can use, and health warnings do not appear on e-cigarettes like they do on cigarette packages. Flavored e-cigarettes are widely available and appeal to youth,” said Maria Cooper, Ph.D., co-author and postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Healthy Living.
Just a wild guess here, but I don’t think any kid in the history of ever who took up smoking actually read the warning label and decided they didn’t want to smoke after all.
It seems that this study is an exercise in attempting to paint correlation as causality. I’ll leave that one to the blogs that focus on bad science. I’m sure they’ll have plenty to say about that.
My point instead is that this will be yet another torch the media and prohibitionists will pick up to keep fighting their good fight of destroying vaping for the millions of adults who have improved their health.
Not that you have a short attention span, but let me just remind you that just last week Senator Boxer was screaming at the FTC to limit e-cigarette ads for The Kids.
I’m sure a news item like this wouldn’t possibly catch the attention of her ilk. There’s no way I’ll be posting another story this week talking about how some senator used this story to stand that much taller on their soapbox to preach their tough stance on protecting kids.
They can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome they are.