Alexander B Barker, Jordan Smith, Abby Hunter, John Britton, Rachael L Murray
Exposure to tobacco and alcohol content in audio-visual media is a risk factor for smoking and alcohol use in young people. Previous UK research has quantified tobacco and alcohol content in films and broadcast television but not that of video-on-demand (VOD) services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Furthermore, it is not clear whether regulation by Dutch (Netflix) or UK (Amazon Prime) authorities results in differences in content. We report an analysis of tobacco and alcohol content in a sample of episodes from the most popular programmes from these two VOD providers, and compare findings with earlier studies of UK prime-time television content.
Content analysis of a sample of 50 episodes from the five highest rated series released on Netflix and Amazon Prime in 2016, using 1 min interval coding of any tobacco or alcohol content, actual or implied use, paraphernalia and branding.
Of 2704 intervals coded, any tobacco content appeared in 353 (13%) from 37 (74%) episodes. Any alcohol content appeared in 363 (13%) intervals in 47 (94%) episodes. There were no significant differences between the two services, however the proportion of episodes containing tobacco and alcohol was significantly higher in VOD original programmes than those recorded in an earlier study of prime-time UK television.
Audio-visual tobacco and alcohol content is common in VOD original programmes and represents a further source of exposure to imagery causing smoking uptake and alcohol use in young people. This appears to be equally true of services regulated in the UK and The Netherlands. Given that VOD services are consumed by a global audience, it appears likely that VOD content is an important global driver of tobacco and alcohol consumption.
Strengths and Limitations of this study:
This study is the first to explore alcohol and tobacco content in video-on-demand (VOD) programmes.
Established methods were used to explore the content in VOD original content.
This study provides a comparison of VOD alcohol and tobacco content to UK broadcast television content.
This study is limited to a sample of programmes and episodes on each VOD service.
As viewing figures are not available for VOD original content, we could not estimate exposure to tobacco and alcohol content.
Inspired by people who have switched from smoking cigarettes to vaping, the NCSCT (National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training) and the New Nicotine Alliance have produced several short films showing how some people have made The Switch.
Just as vapers in several countries began to feel like events may finally be turning in favor of e-cigarettes as a harm reduction tool, the harsh realities of the global public health movement shattered any optimism.
The World Health Organization is just wrapping its Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, known as COP7, in India and according to professor John Britton, Chair of the Tobacco Advisory Group at the Royal College of Physicians in Britain (RCP), the future for vaping looks bleak.
The RCP, Public Health England and the UK Centre for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies have all endorsed e-cigarettes as a vital tool in the battle to end the tobacco epidemic.
Tune in to this special edition of RegWatch and learn why officials from England’s top public health organizations fear that pending WHO regulatory action on e-cigarettes could kill millions of people.
The Substance Use and Misuse Research Group at Glasgow Caledonian University is examining Scotland’s relationship with alcohol and developing interventions to reduce harm.
A UK-wide team of researchers from the University of Bedfordshire, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glyndwr University Wales and Queens University Belfast, found hidden harm among the over 50s, poor use of available services, little knowledge of safe drinking levels, and stigma.
The survey into the drinking behaviours of more than 16,700 people across the UK found that a sense of shame might prevent older drinkers from asking for help to reduce their alcohol use. One in four respondents said they would not know where to go for help, nor would they tell anyone if they needed it.
The fourth annual E-Cigarette Summit will take place at the Royal Society in London on the 17th November 2016.
The issue of how public health should respond to the exponential growth of e-cigarettes remains a contentious issue and continues to divide scientists, policy makers and health professionals alike. The E-Cigarette Summit has established itself as a neutral environment for scientists, policy makers, medical and public health professionals and e-cigarette stakeholders to come together and look at the latest scientific research and evidence available on e-cigarettes and debate their impact in context of public health and regulation.
Alongside examining the latest evidence on the safety of e-cigarettes for users and bystanders, The E-Cigarette Summit will also address broader debates including evidence on Gateway for children and non-smokers, advertising and marketing, use in public places and the conflicts arising from the tobacco industry’s dual corporate ownership of tobacco harm reduction products and cigarettes. The role that e-cigarettes could play in ending or extending the smoking epidemic will remain one of the most fiercely fought debates in public health history.
For policy makers/advisors, the weight of making the right decision cannot be underestimated. From outright bans, advertising restrictions to higher taxation; the way that each country introduces, interprets and implements legislation, including consumer and medical licensing routes, will have far reaching consequences. Setting the regulatory bar at the correct level, will be vital to harnessing the opportunities that e-cigarettes could offer while remaining responsive to a tobacco control manifesto to reduce smoking related harm.
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