Article Text

other Versions

PDF
YouTube: a promotional vehicle for little cigars and cigarillos?
  1. Amanda Richardson,
  2. Donna M Vallone
  1. Department of Research and Evaluation,  American Legacy Foundation, Washington, DC, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Amanda Richardson, Department of Research and Evaluation, American Legacy Foundation, 1724 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036, USA;  arichardson{at}legacyforhealth.org

Abstract

Objective As the third most popular website in the world, messages embedded in the video-sharing site, YouTube, have the potential to influence tobacco-related attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. Despite the growing number of videos depicting little cigars/cigarillos (LCCs), there has been no examination of the portrayal of these products on YouTube.

Methods Researchers identified up to the top 20 search results on YouTube by relevance and view count for the following search terms: ‘little cigars’, ‘cigarillos’, ‘Black and Mild’, ‘Swisher Sweets’, ‘White owl’, ‘Garcia y Vega’, and ‘Winchester’. Reviewers rated whether videos were ‘pro’, ‘anti’ or ‘neutral’ to the use of LCCs, and documented statistics on the reach and viewer demographics. Several main themes around LCCs were noted, as was video quality (amateur vs professional) and demographics of video participants.

Results Of the 196 videos retrieved, only 56 were unique, eligible videos. The majority of these (n=43) were ‘pro’ LCCs, 11 were ‘neutral’, and only two were ‘anti’ LCCs. Videos were primarily viewed by males in the USA and Canada and most were amateur. Common themes included where to purchase LCCs, their candy flavours, and that they are cheap or cheaper than cigarettes, and ‘smooth’.

Conclusions The vast majority of information on YouTube about LCCs promotes their use. It is critical to monitor content on LCCs posted on YouTube, and develop appropriate health messages to counter pro-LCC content, and appropriately inform potential consumers of the harms associated with their use.

  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Media
  • Non-cigarette tobacco products
  • Surveillance and monitoring
  • Tobacco industry

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.