Friday March 22, 2019

Hookah Smoking Posts on Social Media Promote The Habit, Here’s How

They found that 99.6 per cent indicated positive sentiments towards hookah use and only one post (0.4 per cent) mentioned its negative health effects

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Hookah Smoking Posts on Social Media Promote The Habit, Here's How
Hookah Smoking Posts on Social Media Promote The Habit, Here's How. Pixabay

Posts with hashtags, such as #hookah or #shisha, on social media platforms may portray its use in an overwhelmingly positive manner despite its serious health risks, a new study suggests.

The findings, published in the journal Health Education and Behavior, suggested that the portrayal and promotion of hookah smoking on social media can normalise its use and pose public health challenges.

A team of researchers from Florida International University, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Miami, the Syrian Centre for Tobacco Studies, and the University of Pittsburgh selected 279 posts from 11,517 posts tagged hookah or shisha within a four-day period.

They found that 99.6 per cent indicated positive sentiments towards hookah use and only one post (0.4 per cent) mentioned its negative health effects.

“A growing body of evidence suggests that smoking hookah can lead to nicotine dependence and many other known smoking-related illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory disease,” the researchers said.

hookah
Representational image. Pixabay

“This study represents an important step in identifying hookah-related themes on Instagram and demonstrates the value in using data from this social platform to complement and extend our understanding of health behaviours,” they added.

The researchers also found that 10 per cent of all posts used the hashtag #HookahAddiction, signalling that nicotine addiction is not perceived as a health risk that would discourage potential users but instead is referred to ironically or as a “badge of honour”.

Also Read: Eat Walnuts to Ward off Diabetes Risk

The researchers commented that policymakers and others should explore approaches for reducing the number of promotional posts, for example, by creating campaigns to counter-market positive themes presented on social media.

“These findings can inform the design of future tobacco control media campaigns aimed at countering the normalization of hookah use on social media,” the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Social Media Sites to Axe Content in 3 Hours: Report

Also taking part in the meeting were representatives of WhatsApp, Google and ShareChat

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social media
The Election Commission is in talks with the representatives of Internet companies, including social media platforms, on the use of social media for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Pixabay

Social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, agreed on Wednesday to process any request from the Election Commission to take down content within three hours during the 48-hour period before voting days.

The agreement was arrived at a meeting between the Election Commission and Internet companies as part of a conduct code for the staggered Lok Sabha elections starting on April 11 and also for the future, informed sources said.

Also Read- ‘Inbox’ App by Google Shutting Down in April

Also taking part in the meeting were representatives of WhatsApp, Google and ShareChat. (IANS)