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The US surgeon general wants tobacco-like warning labels on social media

Project Healthy Minds’ World Mental Health Day Festival 2023
Dr. Vivek Murthy hopes that introducing warning labels to social media platforms will help address mental health concerns among adolescents. | Photo by Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Project Healthy Minds

US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy is urging Congress to introduce warning labels for social media platforms that regularly warn parents and adolescent users about the potential mental health harms associated with using them. The proposed warning labels, similar to those already introduced for tobacco and alcohol products, would aim to increase awareness and encourage social media users to change their behavior.

“The mental health crisis among young people is an emergency — and social media has emerged as an important contributor,” Murthy said in a guest essay published by The New York Times. The surgeon general cited studies that found almost half of adolescents say social media gives them body image issues and that those who spend…

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