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Since 2 January 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration banned sales of all flavoured (other than menthol or tobacco) pod-mod e-cigarettes, like JUUL, that appeal to youth.1 However, the finalised policy exempted disposable e-cigarettes such as Puff Bar, Posh, Eon Stik, Mr. Vapor and other brands that are illegally introduced into the market and gaining popularity among youth.2
The objective of this Industry Watch article is to describe how Puff Bar e-cigarettes, a leading disposable e-cigarette brand among youth,3 are portrayed on the popular Beijing-based video-sharing social media platform TikTok.4 Unlike other major e-cigarette companies, information on the ownership of the Puff Bar company is unclear.5 We focused on TikTok specifically because 60% of the platform’s 26.5 million active users in the USA in 2019 were between the ages of 16 and 24.6 TikTok’s user guidelines prohibit the posting of ‘content that depicts minors consuming, possessing, or suspected of consuming alcoholic beverages, drugs, or tobacco’.7 However, on other social media such as Facebook, enforcement of such policies to restrict promotion of tobacco products is lacking.8 Information on …
Correction notice This paper has been updated since first published to amend author name 'Erica
Contributors ASLT and EW contributed to conceptualising the study. EW contributed to data collection and analysis. ASLT drafted the initial manuscript. All authors contributed to the writing, and reviewed and approved the final manuscript. ASLT is responsible for the overall content as guarantor.
Funding ASLT is supported by the National Cancer Institute of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under R03CA212544-01A1 and the National Cancer Institute under 1R01CA237670-01A1.
Disclaimer The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of NIH or FDA.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.