This study examined effects of experimentally manipulated social media exposure on adolescents' willingness and intention to use e-cigarettes.Participants were 135 adolescents age 13-18 (52.6% female, M age=15.3) in California. Participants viewed 6 social media posts online in a 2 (post source: peer or advertisement) X 2 (e-cigarette content exposure: heavy or light) between-subjects design. Analyses were weighted to population benchmarks. We examined adolescents' beliefs, willingness, and intention to use e-cigarettes in association with social media use intensity in daily life and with experimentally manipulated exposure to social media posts that varied by source (peer or advertisement) and content (e-cigarette heavy or light).Greater social media use in daily life was associated with greater willingness and intention to use e-cigarettes and more positive attitudes, greater perceived norms, and lower perceived danger of e-cigarette use (all p-values<.01). In tests of the experimental exposures, heavy (versus light) e-cigarette content resulted in greater intention (p=.049) to use e-cigarettes and more positive attitudes (p=.019). Viewing advertisements (versus peer-generated posts) resulted in greater willingness and intention (p-values<.01) to use e-cigarettes, more positive attitudes (p=.003), and greater norm perceptions (p=.009). The interaction effect of post source by post content was not significant for any of the outcomes (all p-values>0.529).Greater social media use and heavier exposure to advertisements and e-cigarette content in social media posts are associated with a greater risk for e-cigarette use among adolescents. Regulatory action is needed to prohibit sponsored e-cigarette content on social media platforms used by youth.
View details for DOI 10.1093/ntr/ntaa003
View details for PubMedID 31912147