Media Coverage of E-cigarettes Influence Perceptions and Policy

Jeong M, Singh B, Wackowski OA, et al. Content Analysis of E-cigarette News Articles Amidst the 2019 Vaping-Associated Lung Injury (EVALI) Outbreak in the U.S. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, ntab203. Advance Article.

“Using 24 e-cigarette-related search terms, researchers gathered all articles published in leading print and online U.S. news sources in 2019.

Of the 1,643 e-cigarette news articles published in 2019, 62% mentioned EVALI. Articles that mentioned EVALI frequently discussed youth e-cigarette use (40%) and JUUL (33%). Compared to non-EVALI articles, EVALI articles were more likely to discuss health effects (p<.001) but less likely to discuss policies/regulations, except for flavor bans (47% of EVALI articles vs. 39% of non-EVALI articles, p=.002). EVALI articles were also less likely to discuss e-cigarettes being less risky than cigarettes (p=.005).

Findings show that news media can shape public perceptions, and even policy, about e-cigarettes and must continue to be monitored.”

Stephen Hamann

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