A large new study finds people who have seen tobacco content on social media are more than twice as likely as those who haven’t seen such content to report using tobacco.
Among those who have never used tobacco, those who have seen tobacco content on social media are more likely to be susceptible to use in the future, researchers found.
The study included information from almost 140,000 people, the majority of whom were teens, The Hill reports. It was the largest study on the topic to date, the researchers said. It included content from platforms including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and Snapchat. TikTok was not included in the study.
People who saw content on more than one social media platform were more likely to report current tobacco use or future susceptibility compared with those who viewed content on only one platform.
“Of particular importance is the fact that people who had never before used tobacco were more susceptible,” lead researcher Jon-Patrick Allem, Ph.D., of the Keck School of Medicine said in a news release. “This suggests that exposure to tobacco-related content can pique interest and potentially lead nonusers to transition to tobacco use.”