Promoting and placement of hashish retailers affect adolescents’ intentions to make use of marijuana, in accordance with a brand new examine within the Journal of Well being Communication by Washington State College researchers.
Stacey J.T. Hust, affiliate dean within the Murrow School of Communication, and Jessica Fitts Willoughby, affiliate professor of communication, carried out a survey of 13- to 17-year-olds in Washington State to learn the way marijuana promoting and the situation of marijuana retailers affect adolescents’ intentions to make use of the drug. The researchers additionally requested contributors about their consequence beliefs — whether or not or not they thought utilizing marijuana can be good for them personally and or socially.
Their analysis reveals common publicity to marijuana promoting on storefronts, billboards, retailer web sites and different places elevated the probability of adolescents utilizing marijuana.
“Whereas there are restrictions in opposition to utilizing promoting designed particularly to focus on youth, it does nonetheless seem like having some affect,” Willoughby stated. “Our analysis suggests a must equip adolescents with the data and abilities to critically consider marijuana commercials.”
Location of retail shops additionally performed a job however the outcomes of the survey had been combined.
Whereas the precise density of marijuana retailers in an space was not related to adolescents’ intentions to make use of, examine contributors who stated they lived inside 5 miles of a marijuana store had been extra more likely to report intentions to make use of the drug than those that perceived they lived farther away.
“This was particularly the case when additionally they reported having constructive beliefs about marijuana use,” Hust stated. “The examine contributors who felt positively about marijuana and perceived residing near retailers had been the almost certainly to report intentions to make use of marijuana.”
The outcomes of the analysis group’s examine might have vital coverage implications as states which have legalized leisure marijuana use grapple with methods to stick to the drug’s authorized standing whereas attempting to stop adolescent marijuana use.
As an example, most states with legalized marijuana limit putting retailers and commercials subsequent to varsities, however different places, the place adolescents reside and spend plenty of their time, stay largely unregulated.
“Our findings are significantly related given that the majority states which have legalized leisure marijuana haven’t restricted their proximity to neighborhoods or residing areas, which can be significantly difficult in massive metropolitan areas,” Hust stated. “States might need to think about using census knowledge to determine the proportion of teenagers residing particularly areas as they determine the situation for marijuana retailers.”
The researchers are presently within the strategy of conducting a brand new experiment the place they’re testing several types of commercials to see how younger individuals interpret and reply to them.
“One of many issues this analysis and different research counsel is that these commercials are fairly prolific in sure areas and we need to see what sort of appeals are used within the commercials and the way these appeals have an effect on viewers,” Hust stated. “Our long-term purpose is admittedly to develop a greater understanding of how adolescents could make heathy and knowledgeable selections in an surroundings by which marijuana is authorized.”