Presence of Nicotine Warning Statement on US Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) Advertisements 6 Months Before and After the August 10, 2018 Effective Date

Lauren Czaplicki, Kristy Marynak, Dannielle Kelley, Meghan Bridgid Moran, Sarah Trigger, Ryan David Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Effective in August 10, 2018, FDA requires advertisements for electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) that meet the definition of a "covered tobacco product"to feature a standard nicotine warning statement. To date, limited data exist on the presence of warning statements in ENDS advertising. Methods: We acquired ENDS ads (n = 459) that first ran six months before (February 10, 2018-August 9, 2018) and after (August 10, 2018-February 9, 2019) the effective date. The sample included online, print, and outdoor static ads (ie, without video or animated graphics) (n = 166 before, n = 198 after), online and television video ads (n = 16 before, n = 49 after), and radio ads (n = 9 before, n = 21 after). We coded ads for the presence of the verbatim FDA warning. Ads with verbatim warnings were coded for required formatting and additional features. Results: Overall, 28% of static (n = 46/166), 62% of video (n = 10/16), and 67% of radio (n = 6/9) ads that ran before the effective date contained the verbatim warning versus 84% (n = 167/198, p <. 001), 96% (n = 47/49, p =. 002), and 86% (n = 18/21, p =.329) of ads that ran after, respectively. Following the effective date, nearly all static ads placed the warning as required at the top of the ad (76% [n = 35/46] before, 97% [n = 162/167] after, p <. 001), and many video ads featured the warning statement for the entire ad duration (0% [n = 0/10] before, 60% [n = 28/47] after, p <. 001). Half (n = 9/18) of radio warnings running after the effective date were read faster than the other promotional content. Conclusions: The presence of the nicotine warning statement on paid promotional static, video, and radio ENDS ads in this sample increased after August 10, 2018, but a notable number still lacked the warning. Implications: Results from this study provide initial insights into the extent to which required nicotine warning statements appear in ENDS ads in the study sample across traditional (eg, magazines, television, radio) and digital (eg, online/mobile ads) advertising mediums. Following the August 10, 2018, effective date, we observed a substantial increase in the presence of the required FDA warning statement on the ENDS ads in this sample. However, a notable number of ads in the study lacked the required warning and warnings did not always include the required formatting displays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1720-1726
Number of pages7
JournalNicotine and Tobacco Research
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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