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E-Cig Ads Target Youth

By on January 23, 2016

Yes, tobacco use and cigarette smoking is still a problem among young people in America.

About 7 in 10 middle and high school students – more than 18 million young people – see e-cigarette advertising in stores, online, in newspapers and magazines, or on television and in movies, according to a new CDC Vital Signs report.

Data from the 2014 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) show 68.9% of middle and high school students see e-cigarettes ads from one or more media sources. Youth see e-cigarette ads in retail stores (54.8 percent), online (39.8 percent), in TV/movies (36.5 percent),and in newspapers and magazines (30.4 percent).

  • Advertising of tobacco products has been shown to cause youth to start using those products. E-cigarette ads use many of the same themes – independence, rebellion, and sex – used to sell cigarettes and other conventional tobacco products.
  • The unrestricted marketing of e-cigarettes and dramatic increases in their use by youth could reverse decades of progress in preventing tobacco use among youth. Spending on e-cigarette advertising rose from $6.4 million in 2011 to an estimated $115 million in 2014. In 2014, e-cigarettes became the most commonly used tobacco product among youth, surpassing conventional cigarettes. During 2011 to 2014, current e-cigarette use among high school students soared from 1.5 percent to 13.4 percent, and among middle school students from 0.6 percent to 3.9 percent.


The 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate the manufacture, marketing, and sale of certain tobacco products.

The Food and Drug Administration has announced its intention to regulate e-cigarettes and other currently unregulated tobacco products as part of this Act. The rule-making is currently under review at the Office of Management and Budget.


Content provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.