Where There’s Smoke: How Big Tobacco is Taking Over Social Media
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Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, United States
Publication date: 2019-03-26
Tob. Prev. Cessation 2019;5(Supplement):A48
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1. Big Tobacco’s Use of Social Media
Tobacco companies are increasingly - and often secretly - using social media to advertise cigarettes to a global audience of young people. We will provide an overview of the evidence collected as part of a two year investigation by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and our research partners. Evidence reflects actual posts from social media platforms, interviews with influencers paid to advertise cigarettes on social media and an assessment of the global scope of this marketing tactic.

2. Campaign Actions and Opportunities
The nature of the companies’ purposefully covert marketing tactic makes addressing this form of tobacco advertising particularly challenging for advocates, policy makers and regulatory agencies. We will discuss in detail how to uncover the tobacco industry social media campaigns, possible actions advocates can take and share experiences with our own campaign in the U.S. as well as current efforts in Brazil. The session will cover four key topics: • Research: How to identify and monitor tobacco influencer marketing • Legal: Understand how this type of marketing violates existing tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship laws and consumer protection laws • Action: Consider taking legal and advocacy action against the tobacco companies through courts and/or appropriate enforcement agencies • Communication: The role of media advocacy in creating public pressure to stop influencer marketing 3. Looking Forward: Discussion of Using Research in Your Country and Overcoming Potential Challenges We will engage in a guided group discussion for participants to share challenges anticipated in their countries when considering action to stop tobacco companies’ from advertising on social media.
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