Portrayal of tobacco smoking in popular women's magazines: a content analysis

Kasujee, Naseera and Britton, John and Cranwell, Jo and Lyons, Ailsa and Bains, Manpreet (2016) Portrayal of tobacco smoking in popular women's magazines: a content analysis. Journal of Public Health . ISSN 1741-3850

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Background: Whilst many countries have introduced legislation prohibiting tobacco advertising and sponsorship, references to tobacco continue to appear in the media. This study quantified and characterized tobacco smoking content in popular women's magazines.

Methods: The 10 top weekly and 5 monthly women's magazines most popular among 15–34 year olds in Britain published over a 3-month period were included. A content analysis was conducted for both written and visual content.

Results: In 146 magazines, there were 310 instances of tobacco content, the majority of which were positive towards smoking. Instances of celebrities smoking were most common (171, 55%), often in holiday or party settings that could be perceived to be luxurious, glamorous or fun. In all, 55 (18%) tobacco references related to fashion, which generally created an impression of smoking as a norm within the industry; and 34 (11%) text and image references to tobacco in TV and film. There were 50 (16%) reader-initiated mentions of smoking, typically in real-life stories or readers writing in to seek advice about smoking. Anti-smoking references including the hazards of smoking were infrequent (49; 16%).

Conclusions: Although tobacco advertising is prohibited in Britain, women's magazines still appear to be promoting positive messages about tobacco and smoking.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Public Health following peer review. The version of record is available online at: http://jpubhealth.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/09/27/pubmed.fdw104
Keywords: Britain, magazines, media, tobacco language, tobacco imagery
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Epidemiology and Public Health
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdw104
Depositing User: Claringburn, Tara
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2016 10:29
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2016 16:39
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/37354

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