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College Students' Exposure and Engagement with Tobacco-related Social Media

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Objectives: In this study, we examine the prevalence and demographic, social, and behavioral characteristics associated with college students' exposure to and engagement with tobaccorelated social media, in a diverse sample from the Marketing and Promotions Across Colleges in Texas Study (N = 4384). Methods: We used multiple logistic regression to examine cross-sectional associations between characteristics and exposure and engagement. Results: Overall, 30% of students reported past 30-day exposure to tobacco advertising on social media. Exposure was greatest for e-cigarette advertisements on Facebook. A total of 23% reported engagement. Anti-engagement activities, like posting links to anti-tobacco messaging, were more prevalent than pro-engagement. Racial/ethnic minorities, 2-year college students, dual/poly-users, higher social media users, students with friends who use tobacco, and students with higher depressive symptoms were significantly more likely to report exposure. Racial/ethnic minorities, sexual/gender minorities, 2-year college students, dual/poly-users, higher social media users, and students with higher depressive symptoms were more likely to report pro-engagement. Sexual/gender minorities, non-users and dual/poly-users (vs single-product users), higher social media users, students with friends who use tobacco, and students with higher depressive symptoms were more likely to report anti-engagement. Females were more likely to report hookah advertising exposure and anti-tobacco engagement. Conclusions: We discuss the regulatory and practical implications.
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Keywords: ADVERTISING; CIGAR/CIGARILLO; CIGARETTE; ELECTRONIC CIGARETTE (E-CIGARETTE); HOOKAH; NARGILE; SHISHA; SOCIAL MEDIA; WATER PIPE; YOUNG ADULT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2020

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  • Tobacco Regulatory Science (Electronic ISSN 2333-9748) is a rigorously peer-reviewed online scientific journal for the dissemination of research relevant to the regulation of tobacco products. The journal content includes a broad array of research domains, including chemistry, biology, behavior, community, and population-level surveillance and epidemiology, as well as knowledge syntheses (eg, meta-analyses or state-of-the-art reviews) and analytic modeling. All articles describe the policy relevance of the research outcomes. Given the global nature of tobacco regulation, particularly as a result of international and national policies, Tobacco Regulatory Science publishes high quality research that is relevant to global regulatory needs and requirements. Tobacco Regulatory Science is published electronically 6 times per year.
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