1서강대학교 2서강대학교 신문방송학과 석사 3서강대학교 4서강대학교 신문방송학과 5서강대학교 커뮤니케이션학부
Background: New tobacco products (referring to e-cigarettes and any other new tobacco-related products) are being promoted by the tobacco companies’ marketing activities and various user-generated contents. Contents showing enticing factors of new tobacco products exist in various forms especially in social media, which is easily accessible to the public.
Methods: This study is an exploratory content analysis that identifies enticing factors of new tobacco products in social media (YouTube), which has recently been used by the entire nation including children and adolescents. The analysis focused on the video uploader, characteristics and types of content, commercial components, and linguistic features of the message.
Results: The results show that most of the videos (76.7%) were uploaded by individuals who are classified as tobacco enthusiasts. However, several contents (30.0%) that contain a purchase link of the tobacco product exist without recognizing any sponsorship. The possibility of the hidden advertisement of tobacco companies could be inferred from those cases. Moreover, the videos contain a lot of sensory appeals like “OO flavor/scent” and “Feeling fresh after smoking,” which are likely to strongly influence children and adolescents.
Conclusion: Social media has provided many enticing contents of new tobacco products. Moreover, the contents, which are considered as advertising, were distributed among users without any regulation. Therefore, continuous and close monitoring of social media contents is required. In addition, practical policy implementation reflecting the social media environment should be considered.