Instagram is banning influencers from promoting guns, cigarettes and vapes

The platform has decided it’s time to stub out the potentially harmful content.
man vaping

Though the power of influencers may be waning, their power to, well, influence remains a surefire fact. There is, after all, a reason why I own six different Glossier products that are all essentially Vaseline.

Now, however, Instagram is starting to take responsibility for some of their power. On Wednesday, Facebook, the platform’s owner, announced that it will begin enforcing the ban on “goods such as vaping, tobacco products and weapons” that was apparently already stated in its advertising policy.


According to Axios, the move is significant, as it marks the first time the company “is establishing boundaries for influencer-sponsored content”.

Facebook also said that, starting next year, they would put in place “special restrictions” on online promotions for alcohol, as well as dietary supplements, limiting the age range of the audience that is permitted to view them.

This concern tends to stem from the idea that young teens using the app could be more susceptible to sponsored content, particularly for products that are potentially damaging to their health and well-being. “Instagram reaches a younger demographic than Facebook’s flagship social-media app,” writes Sarah Frier for Bloomberg, “That audience may be more easily swayed by promotions from famous users of the platform.”

Who could forget the Juuling scandal earlier this year, in which a report by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission revealed that the e-cigarette company had spent more than $200,000 on influencer-marketing for young people. A sentence as eerie as it is the essence of 2019.

In 2020, the #vapelife may go on, but it may have some difficulty doing any numbers on IG.

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.