Adolescents who engaged in online tobacco marketing were at increased risk for tobacco use, according to recently published study results in Pediatrics.
In this longitudinal analysis, we report two central findings:” Samir Soneji, PhD, of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire, and colleagues wrote. “First, engagement with online tobacco marketing was associated with higher incidences of tobacco use imitation, increased frequency of use and progression to poly-product use and a lower incidence of cessation. Second, engagement with online tobacco marketing was associated with lower incidence of tobacco use cessation.”
Soneji and colleagues used the Population Assessment for Tobacco and Health study to conduct an analysis of data from a sampling of 11,996 adolescents.
Respondents’ engagement with online tobacco marketing was determined at baseline (2013-2014). Determination of whether the adolescents had initiated tobacco use, increased frequency of use, progressed to poly-product use or quit was determined at follow-up (2014-2015). Initiation of tobacco use was predicted using multivariate logistic regression models among never-users at baseline.
Adolescents who reported engaging in online tobacco marketing reported higher incidences of initiation (19.5% vs. 11.9%), increased frequency of use (10.3% vs. 4.4%) and progression to poly-product use (5.8% vs. 2.4%) and a lower incidence of cessation (16.1% vs. 21.5%) compared with those who reported no engaging in online tobacco marketing.
When other risk factors were considered, there was a positive association with online tobacco marketing and tobacco initiation (adjusted OR = 1.26; 95% CI, 1.01-1.57), increased frequency of use (aOR = 1.58; 95% CI, 1.24-2.00), progression to poly-product use (aOR = 1.70; 95% CI, 1.20-.2.43), whereas there was a negative association with cessation (aOR =0.71; 95% CI, 0.50-1.00).
“Although the FDA has regulatory authority over tobacco product marketing since 2009, important regularity gaps remain regarding online marketing,” the authors concluded. “Effective regulation to limit adolescents’ engagement with online tobacco marketing would require active cooperation of social networking sites.” – Bruce Thiel
Disclosures: Soneji reports no relevant financial disclosures. Please see the full study for the other author’s list of relevant financial disclosures.