News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Video Games: Big Tobacco’s New Backdoor Marketing Frontier

Video Games: Big Tobacco’s New Backdoor Marketing Frontier

Smokefree Coalition media release, 27 January 2016

The Smokefree Coalition warns that big tobacco, well-known for its sneaky product placement techniques, has found a backdoor method of marketing to New Zealand children.

New research from the University of California in San Francisco has found that nearly half (42 percent) of video games released between 1994 and 2015 feature characters smoking tobacco, e-cigarettes and/or other products, or making reference to tobacco products in their dialogue with users.

Smokefree Coalition Director Dr Prudence Stone says there is good evidence that smoking in movies influences young people, but much less is known about the influence of interactive games that feature smoking.

“A recent US Surgeon General’s Report says adolescents aged 12 to 17, who see the highest amount of smoking in movies, are twice as likely to start smoking then those with the least exposure. How much more likely is it that gaming adolescents, so avidly immersed in their favourite pastime, will be influenced by the behaviour of the characters in the games?

“There may not be any official figures yet around this, but it’s a no brainer, really. That the tobacco industry seems to have invested in product placement to this degree within video games is an alarming indication that they have already done their own research.”

She says researchers at the Truth Initiative found tobacco use in video games seems almost always to be presented positively. Young people they interviewed thought smoking characters seemed more cool and powerful, describing them as “bad ass” and looking “more in charge”.

Dr Stone says featuring tobacco in video games increased markedly after 2005 after smoking in feature films started to wane – largely due to a 1998 settlement between the tobacco industry and the US Attorneys General forbad product placement in movies made in the US. She also notes that it was around this time that New Zealand became a popular location for US filmmakers.

“It may not be public knowledge that tobacco companies pay video game makers to feature their products, but it’s highly likely given the industry’s propensity to profit wherever addiction occurs.

“Video games are addictive in their own right and would therefore have huge investment appeal to tobacco companies, providing a new frontier for marketing their deadly products to kids.”

The Smokefree Coalition wants more funding for research into youth and young adult exposure to tobacco in gaming and says New Zealand’s Smoke-free Environments Act must be reviewed to ensure the ban on tobacco marketing to children is adequately regulated and enforced in all mediums – “for the sake of the next generation”.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Prue Hyman On ‘Hopes Dashed?’

For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Obituary: Andrew Little Remembers Murray Ball

“Murray mined a rich vein of New Zealand popular culture and exported it to the world. Wal and Dog and all the other Kiwi characters he crafted through Footrot Flats were hugely popular here and in Australia, Europe and North America." More>>

ALSO:

Organised Choas: NZ Fringe Festival 2017 Awards

Three more weeks of organised chaos have come to an end with the Wellington NZ Fringe Arts Festival Awards Ceremony as a chance to celebrate all our Fringe artists for their talent, ingenuity, and chutzpah! More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Wellington Writer Wins $US165,000 Literature Prize

Victoria University of Wellington staff member and alumna Ashleigh Young has won a prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize worth USD$165,000 for her book of essays Can You Tolerate This? More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: We’re All Lab Rats

A couple of years ago, there were reports that Silicon Valley executives were sending their children to tech-free schools. It was a story that dripped of irony: geeks in the heart of techno-utopia rejecting their ideology when it came to their own kids. But the story didn’t catch on, and an awkward question lingered. Why were the engineers of the future desperate to part their gadgets from their children? More>>

  • CensusAtSchool - Most kids have no screen-time limits
  • Netsafe - Half of NZ high school students unsupervised online
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news