National Institute on Aging

Harvard Study Finds That People of Color More Likely to Be Exposed to Ads for Vaping

In recent, months there has been a great deal of research published on the dangers of vaping. Exposure to vaping advertisements can increase the likelihood of taking up the habit. A new study by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that people of color are more likely to be exposed to vaping and tobacco ads than their White peers.

In the study, researchers analyzed data on 18- to 24-year-olds who participated in the U.S. Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study in 2013 and 2014. The participants answered questions about their recollection of seeing ads for cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco, as well as demographic variables such as race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. The study found that people of color had significantly higher prevalence of recalled exposure to the ads.

“The tobacco industry’s advertising affects certain vulnerable groups more than others — young adults, women, sexual minorities, and people of color,” said Andy Tan, assistant professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard Chan School, in a Yahoo Lifestyle article on the study. “We need better vigilance on the industry’s unfair marketing practices and support for these groups to prevent tobacco use and help them quit successfully.”

The study, “Inequities in Tobacco Advertising Exposure Among Young Adult Sexual, Racial and Ethnic Minorities: Examining Intersectionality of Sexual Orientation With Race and Ethnicity,” was published in the British journal Tobacco Control. It may be accessed here.


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