Exposure and Engagement With Tobacco- and E-Cigarette–Related Social Media

Emily T. Hébert, Kathleen R. Case, Steven H. Kelder, Joanne Delk, Cheryl L. Perry, Melissa B. Harrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Purpose Little is known about the nature and extent of adolescents’ exposure to tobacco- and e-cigarette–related communications on social media. In this study, we describe the prevalence and correlates of youth exposure and engagement with tobacco- and e-cigarette–related social media. Methods Data are from the baseline survey of the Texas Adolescent Tobacco and Marketing Surveillance system, a cross-sectional sample of sixth, eighth, and 10th graders (n = 3907, N = 461,097). Weighted logistic regression models were used to examine associations between demographic characteristics, sensation seeking, tobacco use, and exposure and engagement with tobacco-related social media. Results Overall, 52.5% of students reported exposure to tobacco-related social media in the past month, whereas < 6% reported engagement. Exposure and some forms of engagement were more common among high school students, girls, those with friends who use tobacco, and high sensation seekers (p <.05). The odds of exposure were significantly higher among students susceptible to combustible tobacco (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.71, p <.05), e-cigarettes (AOR = 2.10, p <.01), and both combustible tobacco and e-cigarettes (AOR = 2.24, p <.001). The odds of engaging with social media was higher among those who were susceptible to, had ever, or currently use both combustible tobacco and e-cigarettes (AOR = 2.10–3.46, p <.05). Conclusions About 1 in every 2 adolescents in Texas are exposed to tobacco-related social media. Adolescents who are susceptible to or use e-cigarettes and/or combustible tobacco are exposed to and engage with tobacco-related social media more than their peers. Social media appears to be an important venue when targeting vulnerable youth in prevention campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-377
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescents
  • E-cigarettes
  • Social media
  • Tobacco

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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