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Partnering With Youth Journalists to Investigate How e-Cigarettes Are Marketed Towards Young People

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Menthol is the most abundant flavor of e-cigarettes sold in Oakland and Bay Area local markets, pharmacies and liquor stores—and the flavors and colors clearly target minors, youth and small children. That’s one of the findings from the youth-led Marketing E-Cigarettes Toward Adolescents (M.E.T.A.) project, from PHI’s California Adolescent Health Collaborative in partnership with University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education.

Through PhotoVoice, a community-based participatory research method, youth journalists explored the topic through their own eyes and their communities, and found opportunities for community education, local advocacy with businesses, and policy ideas for tobacco reduction.

The youth journalists identified ways that retail stores and tobacco companies target adolescents, and the findings directly affected local policy advocacy efforts—eventually helping to lead to the passage of a tobacco flavors ban in the City of Oakland. Youth co-researchers also testified at hearings and advocated for flavors bans in San Francisco, Oakland and San Leandro.

Learn more about this project in a video exploring how youth researchers used PhotoVoice to investigate how youth perceive e-cigarettes and their marketing in Oakland.

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