Friday February 21, 2020

Promotional E-Cigarettes Posts on Instagram Outnumber Anti-Vaping Content: Study

E-cigarette popular on Instagram despite anti-vaping content

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Despite "The Real Cost" awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes. Pixabay

Promotional e-cigarettes posts on popular photo-sharing platform Instagram outnumber anti-vaping content 10,000 to one, according to a new study and health news.

Despite “The Real Cost” awareness campaign launched by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, nearly one third of American teenagers are estimated to use e-cigarettes, the researchers said.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Communication, highlights the limited impact of the FDA campaign, while also using deep learning – an artificial intelligence method – to better understand the marketing tactics used by vaping companies.

“US public health officials have been calling vaping among youth an epidemic and have been putting a lot of effort into trying to stop this epidemic by introducing #TheRealCost anti-vaping campaign but this stark imbalance in the volume of posts has caused the FDA message to be overwhelmed by marketing from the vaping brands,” said study researcher Julia Vassey from University of California in the US.

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Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses and breathing troubles. Pixabay

Many teenagers continue to view e-cigarettes as healthier than conventional cigarettes, but vaping is associated with inflammation, reduced immune responses and breathing troubles, the study said.

To further understand how vaping is perceived on social media, research team collected 245,894 Instagram posts spanning from before and after the #TheRealCost campaign launch.

The team also conducted interviews with five vaping influencers and eight college-age social media users. “We focused on Instagram because the vaping influencers we interviewed for this study identified Instagram as their most important social media marketing platform,” Vassey explained.

“Based on the results, the FDA anti-vaping campaign is not very popular and we saw Instagram user comments disputing the FDA claims of damaging health effects from nicotine and calling the campaign propaganda,” Vassey added.

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In contrast to the FDA’s intentions, the study found that vaping posts received nearly three times more “likes” after the campaign launch. They also found that there were six times as many posts that had greater than 100 likes.

According to the researchers, participants in the focus groups suggested that the anti-vaping campaign promoted scare tactics rather than offering guidance on how to quit vaping. (IANS)

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Polish Children Have Excessive Sugar Consumption: PPOZ

Polish children biggest consumers of sugar in Europe

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Polish children are the biggest consumers of sugar in Europe with those under 10 eating 95 grams per day, or 19 teaspoons. Pixabay

Polish children are the biggest consumers of sugar in Europe with those under 10 eating 95 grams per day, or 19 teaspoons, doctors of the Alliance of Health Care Employers (PPOZ) said.

The draft law on the so-called sugar tax was adopted by the ‘Sejm’ or the lower house of Polish Parliament last week, Xinhua news agency reported.

The bill drafted by the Health Ministry was aimed at imposing additional fees on soft drinks containing sugars as a tool to fight the rapidly increasing problem of Poles being overweight or obese and diseases caused by excessive sugar consumption.

“The introduction of the sugar tax, supposed to discourage Poles from drinking sweet drinks, was advocated by the Ministry of Health, the National Health Fund, the Ministry of Finance, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO),” doctors from PPOZ said on Thursday.

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Excessive consumption of sugar-based products was a cause of many diseases among Polish children. Pixabay

They added that excessive consumption of sugar-based products was a cause of many diseases of civilization.

A diet high in sugar increases the risk of diabetes. Furthermore, sugar consumption is addictive, like alcohol.

It also disturbs the endocrine system, increases oxidative stress and leads to metabolic diseases.

Research has shown that increased glycolysis (carbohydrate metabolism) can cause breast cancer, PPOZ board member Jaroslaw Krol said.

A maximum of 12 teaspoons of sugar should be consumed per day – up to 50 grams, according to the WHO, whereas the American Society of Cardiology recommends a maximum of six teaspoons per day (up to 25 grams) for women and nine (up to 37 grams) for men.

Also Read- Fat Around Arteries May Help Keep Blood Vessels Healthy: Study

Meanwhile, the average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar per day, and the Poles 24.

The PPOZ doctors added that a sugar tax was already in force in some European Union countries, and according to research, it has significantly reduced sales of sweetened drinks. (IANS)