Researchers argue age-gating needed to prevent easy access to weed-vaping videos on YouTube

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Australian researchers are cautioning that unrestricted access to YouTube videos that portray vaping cannabis as fun could up weed use in adolescents. Of concern was that more than half, 52 per cent, of the videos included as part of the study by University of Queensland researchers had no age restrictions. Additionally, the videos “showed elements of risk-taking behaviour, including vaping a whole cartridge of THC” in a single setting, notes a statement from the university . “Videos that portrayed risky behaviour appear to be prevalent,” adds the abstract of the study, published this week in Addiction . Teen cannabis use is on the decline, while adult use is increasing overall: StatsCan Teen boys think using weed could lead to more and better sex, while adolescent girls suggest cooling their jets Do you prefer ‘high-potency’ weed? If you’re worried about your anxiety, you might want to read this “Unrestricted access to the large volume of YouTube videos portraying cannabis vaping as fun and joyful could increase uptake among adolescents,” Ph.D. student Carmen Lim, the study’s lead author and member of the university’s National Centre for Youth Substance Research (NCYSR), says in the statement. Researchers reviewed a cross-sectional sample of 200 YouTube vaping videos from 2016 to 2020 to examine themes and metrics. As part of the explorations, the number of views, likes, dislikes and comments were taken into account. From the research, six themes emerged: advertisement, product review, reflective, warning, celebratory (defined as showing people indulging in activities that could endanger health) and how‐to (defined as sharing how to and vblogging about cannabis vaping), with the latter two types of videos receiving the most views and likes. More specifically, how-to videos were viewed more than 5 million times and celebratory videos had more than 7 million views. “The robust regression model…

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Source : Researchers argue age-gating needed to prevent easy access to weed-vaping videos on YouTube

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