December 2, 2019 at 1:54 pm

Bhuyan Presents Research on Social Media and Vaping

Mahbub Bhuyan

Ohio University graduate student Mahbub Bhuyan presented his research on social media’s impact on vaping among young adults at the SMART Lab in October.

The goal of the SMART dialogue series is to share interdisciplinary research on the role of social media in society. The series gave Bhuyan, working toward his M.A. in Sociology,  the opportunity to report his findings to students and researchers who are also interested in the topic.

He explains that social media is particularly fascinating to sociologists because it has opened a new world of human interaction. Before social media, mass media had two defining characteristics: one, it was very difficult to communicate to a large number, and two, the audience had no effective way of answering. Social media revolutionized the media’s communication process by allowing interaction between users and granting them more space and ownership as far as production. He says that this has influenced people’s attitudes, perceptions and behaviors in both positive and negative ways.

“I strongly believe that the accomplishment of social media depends on its implications in society – not on the aptitude and satisfaction of the users,” Bhuyan says.

During his presentation, he explained how e-cigarettes were initially created to help smokers kick their habit by weaning them off nicotine. There is now a growing concern, however, that vaping may de-stigmatize smoking and contribute to nicotine addiction. His research has shown that implicit advertising through social media, particularly Snapchat, has acted in introducing young adults to vape culture. Furthermore, evidence shows that some vape companies have paid young adults to post positive comments about vaping on social media, leading their peers to think it is safe. Bhuyan believes that examining adolescent’s use of social media and its impact on their lives and behaviors is crucial as vape culture continues to spread. 

His OHIO Experience

Bhuyan has had the opportunity to work with many knowledgeable professors on different research projects, which has given him the confidence to do independent research. He appreciates OHIO’s blend of students from different cultures and backgrounds and has made many great connections. He has also enjoyed participating in OHIO’s co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

“I have gotten an incredible educational experience so far, and it has certainly equipped me with the knowledge to face future challenges,” he said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *