TUESDAY, Oct. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Both electronic cigarette advertising and peer influence are significantly associated with e-cigarette initiation among U.S. teens, according to a study published online Sept. 29 in JAMA Network Open.

Yu Wang, Ph.D., from the School of Public Health at Georgia State University in Atlanta, and colleagues examined how e-cigarette advertising exposure and parental and peer use are associated with e-cigarette use among U.S. adolescents. The analysis included data from waves 4 (8,548 adolescents; December 2016 to January 2018), 4.5 (10,073 adolescents; December 2017 to December 2018), and 5 (11,641 adolescents; December 2018 to November 2019) of the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health study.

The researchers found that more than 60 percent of adolescents reported past 30-day e-cigarette advertising exposure at each survey. Among adolescents who had never used e-cigarettes, e-cigarette advertising exposure was associated with a greater likelihood of feeling curious about using e-cigarettes (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.56) and greater likelihood of becoming an ever e-cigarette user (aOR, 1.21) and current e-cigarette user (aOR, 1.42) at follow-up. Similarly, adolescents who reported having best friends using e-cigarettes were more likely to feel curious about using e-cigarettes (aOR, 4.13) and initiate e-cigarette use at follow-up (aORs, 4.08 and 5.42 for risk for ever use and risk for current use, respectively) versus adolescents who reported having no best friends using e-cigarettes.

“Efforts to address youth vaping need to consider peer influence and incorporate measures reducing e-cigarette advertising exposure,” the authors write.

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