Study Suggests Seeing Vaping Ads Could Trigger Tobacco Cravings

vapeadsSince vaping is a relatively new activity, there isn’t much in the way of regulations about vaporizers’ use or how they are advertised. Vaping is essentially the use of a device to heat and vaporize a liquid for the purpose of inhaling it. Some tout the benefits of vaping as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes, but a new study suggests that watching vaping ads could cause a smoker to light up the real thing.

Time reports that researchers at Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania have found that viewing vaping ads could trigger tobacco cravings in smokers.

Vaping is very popular in the United States — the retail vaping industry is expected to reach $3.5 billion, which is more than twice the amount it earned in 2013. One of the reasons that vaping is so popular is that some use it as an aid to quit smoking. An estimated 70% of smokers is the United States use vaping or e-cigarettes to help them try to quit.

As of now, about seven out of 10 smokers report that they do want to quit, and about 42% of them say that they have tried to quit during the past 12 months.

The study, however, found that watching advertisements that feature vaping can trigger tobacco cravings and make people want to smoke traditional cigarettes.

Researchers took note of the urge to smoke from 301 daily smokers, 272 intermittent smokers and 311 former smokers. The participants were then shown three different advertisements, some featured vaping, others did not.

After viewing the advertisements, the daily and intermittent smokers were more likely to smoke or to want to smoke, and felt less confident in their ability to stop smoking.

Ads that feature cigarette smoking have been banned for many years, and this study could shape legislation that affects vape ads.