Is "YouTube" telling or selling you something? Tobacco content on the YouTube video-sharing website

Freeman, Becky and Chapman, Simon (2007) Is "YouTube" telling or selling you something? Tobacco content on the YouTube video-sharing website. Tobacco Control, 16 3: 207-210. doi:10.1136/tc.2007.020024

Author Freeman, Becky
Chapman, Simon
Title Is "YouTube" telling or selling you something? Tobacco content on the YouTube video-sharing website
Journal name Tobacco Control   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0964-4563
Publication date 2007-06
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1136/tc.2007.020024
Volume 16
Issue 3
Start page 207
End page 210
Total pages 4
Place of publication London, U.K.
Publisher BMJ Group
Language eng
Subject 320000 Medical and Health Sciences
321200 Public Health and Health Services
321206 Preventive Medicine
321299 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Abstract With advertising bans eroding direct tobacco advertising and promotional opportunities, tobacco companies are embracing more covert means of keeping their products in the minds of current and potential consumers. Compared with the breadth of published research on “above-the-line” tobacco advertising, research examining “below-the-line”1 indirect forms of tobacco promotion is in its infancy. Promotions at dance parties,2 themed nights in hip clubs,3 bars and music festivals,4 and disguising market research as sampling promotions5 are examples of identified strategies. Just as tobacco company marketers have infiltrated youth-friendly venues, it is conceivable that they also have a presence on youth-friendly websites. While the world wide web (WWW) is being used extensively to sell cigarettes,6 its largely unregulated status holds much potential as a vehicle for both promoting smoking and particular brands of tobacco products, and for promoting antismoking discourse. The WWW is no longer a vehicle to simply retrieve information and purchase goods, it is now a fully interactive and participatory platform.7 Coined in 2004 as Web 2.0, the WWW is increasingly being driven by consumer-generated content.8 It is both timely and critical to examine tobacco marketing in the Web 2.0 era. We are particularly interested in websites that appeal to youth and young adults, the same target population for tobacco companies. Internet use by young people is part of their everyday life; in 2006, more than half of youth and young adult Australians (aged 15–24 years) used the internet on a daily basis.9 The website YouTube ( is an ideal example of a youth-friendly website that embodies the Web 2.0 principles of participation. It has the potential to be a fruitful place for tobacco marketers to turn their efforts.
Keyword Tobacco control
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: The Future of Tobacco Control
ERA 2012 Admin Only
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 79 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 98 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 14 May 2008, 16:04:46 EST by Coral Gartner on behalf of Health Systems, Policy and Practice