On YouTube And In Poor Boston Neighborhoods: Light One Up

Tobacco ads may be banned from television but how much good does that do smoking-prone kids when they're all just watching YouTube anyway?

A new paper in the journal "Tobacco Control" points out that "pro-tobacco" content is rife on the Internet. It analyzed 163 smoking-related videos and found that nearly three-quarters portrayed smoking as positive. Its authors conclude:

"Pro-tobacco videos have a significant presence on YouTube, consistent with indirect marketing activity by tobacco companies or their proxies. Since content may be removed from YouTube if it is found to breach copyright or if it contains offensive material, there is scope for the public and health organisations to request the removal of pro-tobacco content containing copyright or offensive material."

Meanwhile, today's Boston Globe finds tobacco signs widespread in store windows in the city's poorer neighborhoods, from Mattapan to Dorchester:

“Tobacco advertising is still alive and well,’’ said Dr. Michael Siegel, a tobacco control specialist at the Boston University School of Public Health. “There’s a widespread perception that somehow the tobacco advertising has gone away, that it’s been taken care of, that we don’t have to worry about this anymore. But that’s not true.’’

This program aired on August 30, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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Carey Goldberg Editor, CommonHealth
Carey Goldberg is the editor of WBUR's CommonHealth section.



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