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Tobacco and e-cigarette promotion on social media: the case of German rap music
  1. Christopher Heidt1,
  2. Mehmet Sefa Dal2,
  3. Laura Graen1,
  4. Nobila Ouédraogo1,
  5. Katrin Schaller1
  1. 1German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
  2. 2Unfairtobacco/BLUE 21 e.V, Berlin, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Mr Christopher Heidt, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany; c.heidt{at}


German rap artists advertise hookah tobacco and electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) on social media. Advertising tobacco products on the internet is banned under European Parliament and the German Tobacco Products Act. Despite this, 26 out of 60 famous German rap artists have their own e-cigarette or hookah tobacco editions, which are promoted on social media platforms such as Instagram, Tiktok or Youtube. The products convey the image of the artists and appeal particularly to adolescents. In the interest of preventive health protection and the well-being of children, influencers should abide by the existing laws, social media platform operators should enforce existing laws more effectively and legislators should work towards a comprehensive advertising ban for tobacco and related products and consistently prevent marketing of tobacco and e-cigarettes to youth.

  • Advertising and Promotion
  • Social marketing
  • Tobacco industry
  • Electronic nicotine delivery devices

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  • Contributors NO and KS designed and managed the study to examine the advertising of e-cigarettes and other non-pharmaceutical nicotine products on social media. MSD collected data for the study. CH was responsible for the analysis of the study data. LG was responsible for the aspects of children’s rights.

  • Funding This study is funded by the German Ministry of Health (BMG) and the Baden-Württemberg Cancer Association.

  • Competing interests No, there are no competing interests.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.