Social Media Influencers Should Tag Paid Vaping/Tobacco Use Posts, According to Researchers

Vaping glam shots on social media have been a thing for some time now and often when it is an influencer doing a vape glamour shot, they are not doing it for free. And new research has found that knowing it is a paid advertisement in a plain or obvious way will have an impact on how young people interpret such posts.

Using eye-tracking, a new study examined 200 teens and young adults. It examined whether adding #ad or #sponsored to such vaping posts grabbed their attention.

Researchers stated that the vaping industry is paying social media celebrities to influence young people’s behavior. The study determined that adding a simple hashtag, like #sponsored, could be an a good tool to stop people from starting a harmful habit.

Researchers believe that industry-backed social media activity is commercial sponsorship and should come with an appropriate disclosure to comply with the Federal Trade Commission’s regulations. Since the study, Facebook and Instagram have banned paid content posts that promote vaping or tobacco use.

However, in reality, most influencers aren’t tagging their social media activity as they should and there have been no details released on how these bans are being enforced.