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Effective anti-vaping advertisements geared to teens have the greatest impact when they emphasize the adverse consequences and harms of vaping e-cigarettes, use negative imagery, and avoid memes, hashtags and other "teen-centric" communication styles, according to a first-of-its-kind study by researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

The researchers also found that certain messaging content currently being used, especially imagery related to candy and flavor, increases the appeal of vaping and should be avoided when designing prevention messages.