Stop targeting young people with alcohol ads! We all deserve healthy online platforms.

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The effects of alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco ads on social media spill over into real life.

Young people are inundated daily on social media with messages advertising, downplaying the real impacts of, and normalizing alcohol, cannabis, and tobacco — as are social media users of all ages. While these kinds of messages have pervaded our offline world, they are concentrated on our social media feeds, and even customized for us by social media algorithms.

Messages matter, including advertising and sponsored posts. These messages subconsciously embed brand loyalty in our brains and predispose young people to addiction. Seeing these messages makes us more likely to use those substances when presented with the chance, as they normalize and even promote substance use. Compared to youth who are not on social media, youth who are on social media daily are:

3 times as likely to use alcohol
5 times as likely to use tobacco (including by vaping)
2 times as likely to use marijuana

Our feeds, including ads, are customized to us. It's becoming harder to ignore that young people are intentionally being targeted.

We the undersigned:

  • Want a healthier online world, where young people (under 21) are not exposed to targeted alcohol, nicotine, and cannabis ads on their social media platforms.
  • Understand that social media can have both positive and negative impacts on young people’s lives, and
  • We recognize that policies are in place, but understanding that young people continue to be impacted by industry advertising, believe that there are opportunities to take a stronger protective stance
  • Want social media companies to take responsibility for preventing the negative impacts of substance-related ads on young people
  • We believe that Healthy Online Platforms are for Everyone.