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New Curtin College analysis has discovered TikTok’s insurance policies on the promotion of vaping are ceaselessly violated, placing the social media platform’s predominantly younger customers at potential danger of e-cigarette publicity and use.

Lead researcher Professor Jonine Jancey, from the Curtin College of Inhabitants Well being stated the findings highlighted the risks of counting on to develop and implement their very own insurance policies round content material. The paper is revealed within the Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being.

“Our research explored how e-cigarettes are promoted on TikTok, to evaluate the effectiveness of the platform’s personal ‘medication, managed substances, alcohol and tobacco coverage,'” Professor Jancey stated.

“The sheer quantity of doubtless dangerous content material being fed to on TikTok reveals is failing.

“Of the 264 movies associated to e-cigarettes that we studied and which had a complete of two.5 million views, 97.7% portrayed them positively, and these posts obtained 98.7% of the full views and 98.2% of the full likes. These used humor, music, shared vaping tips and referred to a ‘vaping neighborhood,’ supporting the normalization of those merchandise.

“Sixty-nine of the posts (26.1%) we reviewed violated TikTok’s content material coverage by selling these merchandise for buy. This included movies containing particulars on how and the place to buy e-cigarette merchandise, hyperlinks to on-line retailers and different social media accounts for buying merchandise and provides similar to ‘purchase three, get one free’ and giveaways.”

Professor Jancey stated federal laws needs to be tightened to make sure penalties are enforced for each and social media platforms that breach insurance policies or authorities promoting legal guidelines.

“It appears there are not any main penalties for many who don’t observe TikTok pointers and violate content material coverage. Social media platforms can resolve the implications for breaches of their insurance policies, however they’ve a transparent monetary incentive to not punish individuals who breach their insurance policies,” Professor Jancey stated.

“Authorities laws that captures e-cigarette promoting, promotion and sponsorship, together with on social media have to be enforced. These ought to embody requiring platforms to report on how they’re making certain these laws are upheld.”

Co-author and Professor of Web Research Tama Leaver from Curtin’s College of Media, Inventive Arts and Social Inquiry stated as a result of the movies are usually made by younger individuals for younger individuals, they’re notably highly effective.

“That is basically a type of peer-to-peer promotion the place younger individuals see their associates or celebrities portraying vaping in a constructive approach,” Professor Leaver stated.

“As well as, some vaping content material is posted by influencers who may very well be paid by the trade to advertise their merchandise, though this isn’t disclosed and younger individuals watching these movies might not even know they’re being marketed to.”

Extra info:
Jonine Jancey et al, Promotion of E-Cigarettes on TikTok and Regulatory Concerns, Worldwide Journal of Environmental Analysis and Public Well being (2023). DOI: 10.3390/ijerph20105761

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Curtin College

TikTok’s insurance policies on vaping are ceaselessly violated, placing teenagers in danger, research finds (2023, Might 12)
retrieved 13 Might 2023

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