Article Text

Download PDFPDF

New media and tobacco control
  1. Becky Freeman
  1. Correspondence to Becky Freeman, School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, 226A, Edward Ford Building A27, NSW 2006, Australia; becky.freeman{at}


Objective This paper reviews how the tobacco industry is promoting its products online and examines possible regulation models to limit exposure to this form of marketing. Opportunities to use new media to advance tobacco control are also discussed and future research possibilities are proposed.

Data sources Published articles and grey literature reports were identified through searches of the electronic databases, PUBMED and Google Scholar using a combination of the following search terms: tobacco or smoking and new media, online media, social media, internet media, Web 2.0, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Results A possible obstacle to fully realising the benefits of regulating tobacco marketing activities and effectively communicating tobacco control messages is the rapid evolution of the media landscape. New media also offer the tobacco industry a powerful and efficient channel for rapidly countering the denormalising strategies and policies of tobacco control. Evidence of tobacco promotion through online media is emerging, with YouTube being the most researched social media site in the tobacco control field.

Conclusions The explosive rise in Internet use and the shift to these new media being driven by consumer generated content through social platforms may mean that fresh approaches to regulating tobacco industry marketing are needed.

  • New media
  • internet
  • advertising and promotion
  • social media
  • advocacy
  • packaging and labelling
  • tobacco industry
  • qualitative study
  • industry public relations/media
  • industry documents
  • marginalised populations
  • media
View Full Text

Statistics from


  • Funding This paper was supported by the National Health and Medical Research Council project grant 570869.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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.

Linked Articles