October 23rd, 2012
Pro-smoking apps for smartphones the latest tobacco advertising outlet
By University of Sidney
Pro-smoking content, some featuring explicit cigarette brand images, is being promoted in smartphone apps reaching millions of users worldwide, including teenagers and children.
The easy availability of such apps in violation of Australia’s ban on tobacco advertising is the focus of research by the University of Sydney, published today in the British Medical Journal.
“The regulation of these apps is lagging behind the legislation in Australia and many other countries which ban tobacco advertising including through the internet and virtual stores,” said Nasser Dhim, lead author of the study and a PhD candidate from the University’s School of Public Health.
“This is despite the fact that the Apple and Android app stores have the technological infrastructure to block the sale of apps in accordance with local laws. As we show in our study Apple has already used this technology to ban access to certain content on its app store, in both China and Saudi Arabia.”