Digital Danger

Big Tobacco goes where young people go: Online

Big Tobacco is selling addiction to youth online

Young people around the world are being exposed to tobacco marketing online

Where young people go, the tobacco industry follows. With marketing regulations restricting where and how it can advertise in traditional media, Big Tobacco has turned to digital environments. This exposes young people to harmful advertising that threatens to hook them on industry products.

Regulation is crucial as Big Tobacco hints at expansion into new corners of the internet

Marketing for tobacco industry products has reportedly reached more than 16 million teenagers via the internet. This is not by chance. The industry uses a slew of online tactics to appeal to young people such as influencers, brand collaborations, online coupons and even possible expansions into the metaverse.

Digital marketing guidelines are on the table at COP10

Many countries have implemented strict tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans in traditional media. Why haven’t these regulations expanded to cover digital media, too? To protect young people from exposure to tobacco marketing online, governments can and should implement these regulations on the internet. A new set of guidelines to do just that will be discussed at the tenth Conference of the Parties (COP10).