Māori and Pasifika teens more likely to see vape ads online

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Young New Zealanders are regularly exposed to online ads that promote vaping as an appealing product, according to a survey of more than 3500 people aged 14-20. Half of the sample said they had seen vape marketing on at least one social media platform, and a quarter engaged with this marketing (including purchasing vapes online). Younger respondents were more likely to report seeing vape marketing than older respondents, and Māori and Pasifika more likely than other ethnicities. The authors say the latter is especially concerning given the higher rates of vaping in Māori and Pasifika respondents, and raises the possibility that Māori and Pasifika are targeted more than others with vape marketing on their preferred platforms.

Journal/conference: New Zealand Medical Journal

Organisation/s: University of Auckland, Massey University, The University of Queensland, Victoria University of Wellington

Funder: This work was supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund (Grant 20-VUW-050).

Media release

From: Pasifika Medical Association Group

We don’t know much about the marketing of vape products on social media and young people’s exposure to this marketing. We surveyed 3,698 young people (aged 14–20 years) with a range of genders (55.7% females; 38.3% males; 6% another gender), ethnicities (25.6% Māori; 46.7% NZ European; 6.5% Pasifika and 21.2% another ethnicity) and social classes. Half of the sample reported seeing vape marketing on at least one social media platform, and a quarter engaged with this marketing (including purchasing vapes online). Younger respondents were more likely to report seeing vape marketing than older respondents, and Māori and Pasifika more likely than other ethnicities. Patterns of exposure to vape product marketing on social media mirror the inequitable marketing exposure of harmful commodities in physical environments.

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