US Surgeon General makes case for health warnings on social media apps | Laptop News

A senior US health official has made the case for cigarette-style health warning labels to be applied to social media apps.

In an op-ed piece for the New York Times, Dr. Vivek Murthy appealed for the step to be taken for users to be reminded that online platforms are “associated with significant mental health harms for adolescents.”

The US Surgeon General believes social media is a key driver toward “the mental health crisis among people” and feels the introduction of labels would regularly remind young people and parents that “social media has not been proved safe”.

Dr. Murthy’s motivation for the warnings to be applied to social media comes from the precedent of cigarette packets which have carried blunt messages for decades. ‘Smoking causes blindness’ and ‘Cigarettes cause cancer’ are two examples of concise, yet stern warnings that are familiar to smokers on both sides of the Atlantic.

The labels were first applied in the US in 1966, after then-Surgeon General Lether L Terry linked tobacco to lung cancer in a published report, and the UK adopted the same approach in 1971.

Social media “not inherently harmful”: report

Murthy has linked the warnings on cigarettes to awareness of the damage caused and wants people to think of social media with cognizance of its harms. He believes it would also encourage parents to pay closer attention to their children’s online activity and…

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