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E-cigarette consumption among adolescents around the world, including the USA, is a public health concern.1–3 Exposure to social influencer content and other promotional strategies has been associated with increased risk of e-cigarette use among adolescents and young adults.4–7 One factor contributing to the uptake of e-cigarette use among adolescents is the industry’s overt and covert promotional strategies, including the use of influencers, that target teenagers. Influencers (eg, public figures, promoters, models, bloggers, brand ambassadors with followers of 1000 users or more)8–10 promote e-cigarette products11–13 on behalf of tobacco brands for monetary compensation or other rewards14–17 on social media platforms that are popular among youth (eg, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Twitch).13 18–25
We recently discovered evidence of use and promotion of e-cigarettes by influencers on Amazon-owned Twitch, a video-sharing platform, which is similar to YouTube, but caters more to live streamers as opposed to creators of stored, long-lasting content.26 Twitch is predominantly a video gaming platform, where audiences watch …
Contributors JV and MK conceived the paper and wrote the first draft of the manuscript. All co-authors provided feedback on the first draft and substantial writing to the final version of the paper. All co-authors approved the final version.
Funding Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute and the Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products (CTP)(U54CA180905). The funders had no role in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funders.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.