E-cigarette Ads and Youth


About 2.4 million middle and high school students were current (past 30-day) users of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, in 2014. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes addiction, may harm brain development, and could lead to continued tobacco product use among youth. Tobacco product advertising can entice youth to use tobacco, and spending to advertise e-cigarettes has increased rapidly since 2011. About 69% of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in retail stores, on the Internet, in magazines/newspapers, or on TV/movies. Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth. Efforts by states, communities, and others could reduce this exposure.

States and communities can:
  • Fund tobacco prevention and control programs at CDC-recommended levels to prevent youth use of all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

  • Work to limit where and how all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, are sold to reduce youth e-cigarette use, as well as ad exposure.

  • Support efforts to implement and sustain proven youth tobacco prevention actions such as tobacco price increases, comprehensive smoke-free laws, and high-impact mass media campaigns.

More than 18 million (7 in 10) US middle and high school youth were exposed to e-cigarette ads in 2014.

More than 1 in 2 middle and high school youth were exposed to e-cigarette ads in retail stores.

Nearly 2 in 5 middle and high school youth saw e-cigarette ads online.

Youth are vulnerable to e-cigarette ads.

18 million youth were exposed to e-cigarette ads in 2014.

  • More than 10 million high school students and nearly 8 million middle school students were exposed to e-cigarette ads in 2014.

  • More than half of high school students (about 8 million) saw e-cigarette ads in retail stores, and more than 6 million saw them on the Internet.

  • More than half of middle school students (6 million) saw e-cigarettes ads in retail stores, and more than 4 million saw them on the Internet.

  • About 15% of all students reported seeing e-cigarette ads from all four sources, including retail stores, the Internet, magazines/newspapers, and TV/movies.

Exposure to e-cigarette ads may contribute to youth e-cigarette use:

  • E-cigarette companies have rapidly increased advertising spending, from $6.4 million in 2011 to $115 million in 2014.

  • Many of the themes used in advertising for cigarettes are also now used to advertise e-cigarettes – including sex, independence, and rebellion.

  • During the time e-cigarette ads have increased, there are also increases in e-cigarette use among US youth. From 2011-2014, e-cigarette use in the past 30 days increased from less than 1% to almost 4% among middle school students and from less than 2% to 13% among high school students.

Source http://www.cdc.gov/