Lead researcher Lucy Elkin said that while tobacco companies denied advertising on the internet, the significant brand presence on YouTube was consistent with indirect marketing activity by tobacco companies or their proxies.I need to start smoking cigars again.
"The internet is ideal for tobacco marketing, being largely unregulated and viewed by millions of people world-wide every day," she said.
The study also found that while YouTube provides for the removal of material it defines as offensive, it does not currently consider pro-tobacco content as grounds for removal of specific video clips.
However, public and health organisations could request that YouTube removes pro-tobacco videos containing material considered offensive under present rules, Elkin said.
Governments could also implement the WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control requirements on controlling tobacco marketing on the internet.
But Thomson said in New Zealand, the government had shown it was not willing to put the legal resources to deal with examples of indirect tobacco marketing.
Go to YouTube. Put "Smoking" into the search bar. You get:
- Smoking lettuce
- quit smoking
- a 1951 Goofy No Smoking cartoon
- a Sonic the Hedgehog no-smoking video
- Short video of smoking celebrities
- Smoking tire (cars)
- A Star Wars anti-smoking PSA
- Another anti-smoking video
Who is funding Otago to do this stuff? Ah. The Health Research Council of New Zealand. Nice. I'll have to remember to try paying somebody cash under the table to take back the part I paid for that study.
Item the second: a Belgian paying about $NZ 110/month for the third fastest broadband package, capped at a maximum of 30 MBps, downloaded 2.6 TB of data over a month and his ISP is cool with that. I'm paying $110 NZ per month for broadband plus phone for their fastest package, currently delivering 7 MBps to the exchange but less than 2MBps for overseas connections, that caps out at 20 GB/month of traffic. Nothing to be done about it, and no particular policy moves can fix it. It's a small remote market problem. But I still weep.