Eric Adams designates social media a 'public health hazard' in NYC

"Just as the past US Surgeon General did with tobacco and guns, we're treating social media like other public health hazards and ensuring that tech companies take responsibility," Adams said.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA

Mayor Eric Adams of New York City has formally designated social media a "public health hazard" and "environmental toxin," placing it in the same category as tobacco and firearms.

In an advisory published on Wednesday, Mayor Adams criticized TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook. He attributed the social media platforms to the mental health crisis that has engulfed tens of millions of children in the United States. Adams encouraged parents to monitor social media use, enact "tech-free periods," and advise the youth to disable notifications and monitor their emotions while using social media.

Recent surveys indicate, according to the Daily Mail, that adolescent depression rates have reached their highest levels in a decade.

In a post on X, Mayor Adams said: "Social media companies are fueling a mental health crisis, especially for our young people. But we won't let Big Tech endanger our kids."

"New York City's health commissioner is today issuing an advisory officially designating social media as an environmental toxin," he announced.

"Just as the past US Surgeon General did with tobacco and guns, we're treating social media like other public health hazards and ensuring that tech companies take responsibility," added Adams.

Adams referenced the advisory authored by Dr. Ashwin Vasan, the health commissioner of New York City, which provided parents with nine recommendations regarding safeguarding their children from social media.

Parents were advised to discuss with their children the risks associated with spending an excessive amount of time online and to postpone giving them smartphones with social media access for as long as possible.

Authorities have cautioned for years about the dangers that social media presents, specifically surrounding safety, tech addiction, and unrealistic standards of beauty which could severely impact a child's mental health, mostly among young girls.

Numerous experts attribute the rise in mental health problems to social media, citing studies that link excessive app usage to depression and anxiety, sleep disturbances, low self-esteem, and even potential brain development consequences for children, per the Daily Mail.

Big Tech companies were ordered to testify before Congress in the past about the reported harm social media poses on the youth.

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